MCITP Family Support Network

A community of families dedicated to early intervention in Montgomery County, MD

At the age of 18 months D was sitting in the middle of the floor screaming for hours on end. I thought that I was the worst mother in the world. I had taken all these hours of training on Child care and development, spent years taking care of other peoples children. And yet I didn't know what to do about my own child. I couldn't conect with her. She lived in her own world and it hurt so much when I could see that that world wasn't nice to her.
It was a secret. We never went out, we never had people over we would make great exscuses about lack of naps or her recovory from a bad cold. So until she was 2 we lived in our own secret hell not willing to admit to our friends and family that we had no idea what we were doing. Then we had a Diagnosis. Autism, we had a name for the world our daughter lived in. And a rescue mission to get her out. We hit the ground running while kicking ourselves for not realizing it earlier, I who had comited my self to being a CDA, and my husband with a Batchlers in Pychalogy should have know. How much time we had lost. So in we went to every OT, Speech, Special education, ABA, social skills. Anything and every thing any expert sugested. If her teachers had told us that dressing like a purple chicken would help D then we would do it.
When the teatchers would come back the next week they seemed suprized that we had did what they said to. Who wouldn't?
The hardest part though was our family and friends. I know people can say some pretty dum things when they are trying to make you feel better but it realy hurts.
"Oh she is just strong willed" "A lot of kids don't talk" "She will out grow this"
It just makes me feel like they think all the work we have been doing isn't nesasary.
But she has mad great progress. She still has her own world but now she has some controle over it and some times she even comes to visit us or even better she tries to bring us in to her world. (When she takes my hand and tries to make me spin it is like she is saying "Try this mommy it is so fun") and the best best thing is that she now says "mom"
As great as that is I am not willing to say ok she is better now. A lot of my family now think that the work is done. But I know it is only just started. In a few months she will turn 3 and then I will have a whole new job ahead of me, School. And fewer people behind me. I am a little afraid but I know we can do this.

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Comment by Cristina Benitez on September 26, 2009 at 1:08am
Hi Samantha. Thank you for sharing this. Your last line captured it so perfectly. No matter what our circumstances are, sometimes we are harder on ourselves than we deserve especially when on top of dealing with it all, you have to be a teacher to your friends/family too. I can definitely relate to that too. Keep strong and keep on spinning and twirling with your little angel. :)

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