I always knew my son Mason was unique. Maybe it was because of the hard time I had conceiving, maybe it was the fact that it could really possibly be true that I was actually going to become a Mom after so much trying. It all just seemed to good to be true. I was actually going to become a Mom!
June 30th 2008, my dream came true. Mason made his way into the world screaming his beautiful little head off. I was so overwhelmed the first time I laid eyes on him. He was so perfect. 10 fingers, 10 toes, all parts there and hearing intact. Yet as a Mom, you always worry. So of course within the next couple of days I started looking at his eyes, "Are they shaped strangely"? " Could he have Downs Syndrome"? Any strange genetic issues? You can bet if it exsisted, I was imaging it. I really made myself crazy that first year.
As a child, I was a first class hypochondriac. If somebody was sick, I was next in line. I even had my own copy of The Merck Manual at age 12. And yes, I had most of the diseases in there! Even the exotic ones like Kuru. Never mind the fact that I had never been out of the U.S. . Or somewhere in the depths of Africa getting a disease that comes from eating the brains of an infected person. Anything was possible. I did finally outgrow this interesting obsession, only to imagine that there was something wrong with my own child.
I finally started to relax after countless excellant reports from Rose, my Parents As Teachers adviser. I would say around 13-15 months of age that things started to seem different to me. We were no longer ahead of the game. Our evaluations suddenly started to dip. Further and further. Everyone was passing us up, the little babbled words like "mamamama, and dadadada" were gone. Mason had no focus and was a very busy all over the place type of guy. I told myself he was fine, he is so very happy and loving. He's just a bit behind, and we will catch up. I am probably not doing somthing right, or not doing enough with him to help him learn.
Yet something just kept stirring in me like a sixth sense of impending doom. After all I had already spent one year like this, what's one more? As more months went by I approached Rose to take it a step further. Lets get some speech evaluation on him, see if he might qualify for some help. Communicating is horrible when you cannot understand your childs needs. Of course, in the back of my brain I kept thinking Autism! Autism!Autism!