My son has autism. Low autism, on a scale from 1 to 10 he would be rated a 2. You wouldn’t know he is autistic when you meet and talk to him. The signs are there, though.
The reason more males than females are autistic, researchers say is that the genes for autism is located in the X chromosome. Girls inherit X chromosomes from both parents, boys only inherit one, from their mothers. A researcher named Skuse has an hypothesis. It is, the X chromosome girls inherit from their fathers contains an imprinted gene which protects the carrier from autism, thus making girls less likely to develop the condition than boys.
We didn’t know he wasn’t autistic when he was born. I remember the nurse saying he didn’t cry right away like babies do the moment they are born. He weighed 10 lbs. The nurses themselves couldn’t believe it. They had to place him in an incubator at first. I never saw him in the incubator, but the nurse said it was funny to see all these premature babies, and then this 10 lb. baby in the room.
As a baby he would cling to my chest with love. He was a warm, affectionate baby and also the baby a mother dreams of. I never heard that never ending crying tantrum babies have around 7 p.m. in the evening. He slept peacefully and ate well. He would seldom get fussy or irritated. A content happy baby makes a content happy mom.
He went to Montessori School when he was three and the teachers never noticed anything different about him. He would play quietly and was happy.
Suspicion of a disability came in pre-kindergarten. I got the phone call one afternoon. The teacher had noticed when story time came all the children would direct their attention to the teacher with her story book and listen with anticipation. Not my son.
He would be turning his head, looking around the room, unfocused and not interested in the story being told by the teacher.
Some signs of autism are:
- Speech problems, lack of participation
- Being unfocused and uninterested
- Hand flapping
- love of repetitive actions
- loves routine, prefers no changes in daily life
- slow to learn
A few months down the road he was tested by the school board and the results came back “autistic.” We also took him to a centre which tested the child’s attention span and hearing by placing special headphones on him. The headphones would spill out different sounds and they would analyze the child’s reaction. The director called me into her office. I sat down in front of her. She said “Through the testing we have done, the results came back that your son is autistic.” My heart fell. We would have to live with this new diagnosis.
As time went on my husband and I grew to understand the disability. He is a kind, gentle giving person and those are traits he might not have if he wasn’t autistic. He is 18 years old now, independent and happy and has outgrown a lot of the autistic traits. He will outgrow more. I would have loved him no matter what. I’m so lucky.