Many of you have asked me about what I think were the signs of Paige having autism. Its funny, as I start to list them out, I kind of feel like “duh…no kidding she has autism.” But, when you have a child with special needs, and I think most especially when you have a child who has had a lot of medical complications, the mind can be a funny thing…
You worry that you are worrying too much, and then you worry that you aren’t worrying enough. You don’t want anyone to think you are crazy because you wonder if that bruise is a result of a bump on a chair or if its leukemia. Conversely, you are convinced its just a cold, and it turns into pneumonia.
It’s a strange balance that we must somehow find…and there was a time when Paige was very little that the only diseases/syndromes, etc. that I could rule out in my own mind were those she couldn’t have simply because females or white children, or whatever, couldn’t get them. Everything else, from cerebral palsy to degenerative diseases, to wondering if she had had any sort of birth injury was fair game to me.
But…I made peace with that, and came to know that my daughter was simply…my daughter. With whatever blips and bumps and genetic goofiness she had – she was Paige.
When we finally, finally found her gallbladder problems, I was like “OF COURSE!!!” I beat myself up – why didn’t I know this?? It was classic gallbladder symptoms. But…no one caught it…not doctors who (probably, lol) know a whole lot more about it than me! :)
So, perhaps I should have figured this out earlier. And perhaps not. Perhaps something happened somewhere along the line that caused this – and, then again, perhaps not. I know there is lots of speculation about immunizations, at the same time – she was in and out of the hospital nearly a hundred times in her first years of life - would I have forgiven myself if she caught something because I had refused them?
In the end, I will leave this research to someone else. I still believe that Paige is not broken and does not need to be fixed. If anything, I feel even more connected to her now, as there is a rhyme and reason to some things, and that will help us to help her learn even better.
Anyway, as best I can, I will list some of the things that I believe are symptoms of her having autism. I will add to this list as I think of things. My hope is that some of you will find great relief in knowing that is not something you need to worry about for your child. And, statistically, some of you may want to investigate a little further as 1 in 150 children are now diagnosed with some form of Autism.