I watch my youngest girl from across the room. Birthday party guests are buzzing all around her. Just when I presume that she does not know they are there, a little friend goes up to her and says hi. My daughter looks up and makes the briefest of eye contact. Her friend runs off and joins the others. All the while my heart aches even more.
Ever since I was pregnant with her she has kept me on my mama toes. I had severe morning sickness. My belly grew too fast in the second trimester. She parked her large head under my left rib cage and stayed there. Her birth was also a challenge. She was breech. At the scheduled C-section the epidural and spinal tap didn’t work, so they put me under. I did not even get to see her for hours.
Doctors told me due to her big size that she would be delayed on everything. When she crawled at 13 months and walked at 15 months, I didn’t worry. When her baby babble didn’t grow to spoken words, I was told by doctors to wait. At two, we went to the doctor to have her refer us to speech therapy at the Health Unit. Then when she was two and a half years old we were urged to get her screened for autism.
It is now one year later, we are still waiting to be seen. The waitlist for the government paid clinic is a year and a half long. We put her in pre-school with a support worker to see if that would kick start her social skills. It failed. She wanted me there at all times. We made the decision to pull her out. She communicated that she wanted me.
It was that day that changed everything. After balling my eyes out to my uncle, he offered the money to get her privately assessed for autism. We can pay him back with the money we can get through funding. A label. No one wants to label their child, but in this case it is what is best for her. She can have the best game plan to learn based on her label. Autism.
That name brings mixed emotions. At the end of the day, I am relieved to know what we can do for her based on the diagnosis. Having it done opens many doors to get her the help now while she is still so young.
I watch her run around the room to the beat of her own music. She is such a great kid. I am so in love with her. Her easy-going manner is a lesson to me to stay still once and awhile. I can miss the beauty of then and now, and still allow her to lead me her way.