Shortly after Will turned one, my mommy instincts kicked in and I started noticing some "signs" that prompted my autism concerns. At first, I didn't think "autism." It was more of a, "What the hell is going on with my kid?" sort of thing. It was sitting at a fundraising dinner at our favorite restaurant in Buffalo. Every time the crowd started clapping, Will would scream. We finally had to leave the room. Then there was the time I took him to see "Dora the Explorer" on stage. He loved the cartoon - surely the live show would be a treat. Well - it was a nightmare. The bright lights and loud sounds seemed to scary Will. He screamed and cried. We didn't make it through the first act.
In Gymboree class is when I finally started putting the pieces of the puzzle together - while the little girls his age were participating in circle time, Will ran in circles or went up and down the same slide for an hour.
Something was wrong... and that something was autism.
If you're concerned about your kiddo or see any of these "red flags," talk to your pediatrician about your concerns. And listen - there's a good chance your doc will tell you everything is fine; that your kiddo might just be a little delayed. Trust your instincts - insist that the doctor refer your child for an evaluation. Because... early intervention is key in making sure our kiddos have the best tools for success in life.
Autism red flags: (www.autismspeaks.org)