Tomorrow my “baby” girl will be five – FIVE! Two years ago, on the eve of her third birthday, we were told she has autism. Surprisingly, I wasn’t freaked out but actually a tad bit relieved. I know it may sound weird but after battling with professionals for so long, finally we had one doctor who took the time to go through a complete battery of tests to help us figure out what was going on.
Here’s a bit of last year’s post – Reflecting – The Autism Diagnosis
It has been a year of tremendous growth, lots of backsliding, and a whole heckuva lot of fun. All-out meltdown at Sea World complete with judgmental parents telling me my child was spoiled. Numerous parents commenting on public freak-outs and diapers on a “child her age.” Lots of dirty looks, rude comments, and nice enlightening conversations on my part (depending on my mood hehe). What I do know is over the last year not only has *my* understanding and impression of autism and all spectrum disorders changed but so has that of all of my friends and family. My daughter is a happy, affectionate, and loving little girl and I am so thankful to have her in my life.
The past year has been filled with more ups than downs. She figured out how to go potty and aside from a few accidents a week, spends her days out of diapers or pull-ups. She’s still in pull-ups at night but hey, this is a huge convenience to have her in panties all day. She’s come a long way with her language and actually tested out of her IEP at school. She is still about a year delayed in vocabulary/receptive language but it isn’t quite enough to qualify for speech therapy.
She’s still in the same preschool classroom that she’s been in since she started at age two and is thriving. She won’t start Kindergarten until next fall but she’s already taller than most of the kindergarteners at the school she’ll attend. She’s growing like a weed and is getting sassy, just as you’d expect a child of her age to be. It’s an endearing type of sass though – so it’s OK. She’s in ballet and tap and loves to “perform” – she is always dancing, everywhere she goes.
She is still filled with lots of quirks – we can’t go anywhere without her stopping to smell everything she can. She still gets worked up emotionally and can’t calm herself but that’s what mommy is here for. All-in-all we’ve had a fantastic year and the growth she has made is truly amazing.