Autism Tales: He gets it from me

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I am the oldest of five and both of my parents worked.  When Gustavo was born, aside from the experience I had babysitting my brothers, I was the mother of three. Gustavo would be the last baby born to me and my husband.  It was a hard delivery despite being the shortest.  He was born just three hours after the first labor pain.  He made his arrival several weeks early but he was so healthy we only had to stay a few days over the normal hospital stay.  The pediatrician agreed to let Gustavo come home on the condition she see him several times over the first two weeks in her office. He had long skinny legs and feet that my husband and I teased each other about.  We both claimed that the feet were an inheritance from the other’s family.  Laying on the bed, with him in between us, we would tickle his long feet with a full heart I’m sure all new parents feel. After the doctor said Gustavo no longer had to see her several times a week, the worry lessened.  Soon it was a remember when story.  He was now over a year old and those skinny legs were tan and strong.  He stood holding a table in the waiting room and squatted up and down but still not ready to let go.  I couldn’t wait for him to take his first step but I wanted my husband to be there for that moment.  These were the days before milestones were shared with the world an instant after they occur. The doctor looked concerned.  She was asking questions I don’t remember being a part of any well child exam for the other kids.  If something was wrong, I would have noticed.  “Does he always flap his hands like that?”, she asked.  I quickly reassured her that was normal.  “He gets so excited and that’s how he laughs.  He gets that from my husband’s side of the family.  They all have funny laughs and quirks.”  She didn’t seem convinced.  I looked at my other son, just two years older than Gustavo.  I told Mikey to laugh so she could see first hand.  He was busy with the blocks she had in a bucket by the exam table. She said he should be walking by now and wanted to have me follow up with a specialist.  “Ah”, I said, “it’s his feet.  My husband has the same feet and my mother in law said he took longer to walk than normal.  Plus his head is a little big so we think it makes it hard for him to balance.”  The doctor finished his well child exam and gave me an appointment card for the following week.  She also gave me a sheet with a list of contacts for children with special needs.  “Someone will contact you”, she said.  She smiled and asked if I had any questions. All children are different and normal child development isn’t nice and neat.  It’s a spectrum.  A word I would become familiar with.  A spectrum.  A range.  It was autism.   I was not a new mother.  How could I have missed the signs?  Walking in a grocery store or at the park, now I can spot the signs.  When it’s an especially young child, I wonder if the parent knows yet.  Gustavo learned how to walk.  Among many other things, I learned a new language. People first.  He is not autistic.  He is my son and he has autism.  Just a small change in how people refer to children with autism or any other disability does matter.  People first.  They are people first.

He is my son.  He is a great many things.  He has beautiful feet– he gets them from me.

11 thoughts on “Autism Tales: He gets it from me”

  1. Your son is so lovely… I wrote a post a while back on autism after my grandson was born…. http://memymagnificentself.wordpress.com/2013/05/08/lets-not-label-our-children-with-add-adhd-and-autism/
    Apparently children flap their arms as a way to let go of the ‘dense physical energy’ that doesn’t quite resonate with their ‘high vibration energy’… Our children vibrate differently than most of us, a high vibration of love rather than our low vibration that is mostly fear based… Our children are here to teach us to love… take care, and IAM enjoying reading your blog… wonderful… IAM sure we are going to be great friends here… Barbara

    Like

  2. Hi, what a wonderful story!! I wanted to thank you for the follow… Please be aware that my blog is a bilingual one. So you may get links to some poems in English as well as to some in Italian… Pictures, on the other hand, have no language barriers 😉
    Keep up the good work.
    Anna

    Like

  3. Thanks Anna 🙂 My site is bilingual too– English and Spanish. I have been pleasantly surprised at all of the new amazing people I have met all over the world, you included!

    I am looking forward to getting to know you better now that I am following your blog 🙂

    Like

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