If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know that Camden was diagnosed with Autism last year. I never expected that. Then again, who expects something like that would happen to their child? Since we felt that things may have been easier for Cam if we had known sooner, we decided to have Ella evaluated just to be on the safe side. We noticed a few concerns with her behavior, but not as obvious as with Camden. Well, Thursday Jeromy and I were on our way to Baton Rouge to receive the results of her evaluation. We talked a little about what we thought it might be. Probably nothing, a social delay maybe.
We were handed the report. I read the words "Autistic Disorder" on the third page. I felt a lump in my throat, but at the same time it didn't really sink in. My baby girl? My ballerina princess? A little ham around her family, but definitely a hermit outside of her comfort zone. On the way home, as we drove in the rain on the interstate, Jeromy and I agreed that we were surprised at her diagnosis. I think we just didn't want to think of it as a possibility. Honestly, I can see why she meets criteria for the diagnosis. You just excuse away a lot of it - especially after hearing the same remarks from family and friends repeatedly (albeit well-intentioned): "It's probably modeled behavior from Camden", "she's just shy... she will grow out of it", "all kids are picky eaters", "lots of kids do that."
There is one thing we do know. We are extremely blessed at how mild the Autism is in our children. Therapy has done wonders for Camden in the past year. Amazing difference! This time last year I would be in tears before lunch time almost every day, just feeling completely overwhelmed by taking care of him - not to mention taking care of a newborn and a 2-year-old. I thank God for helping us through the past year, and it helps me breathe a little easier to know that things can be even easier a year from now. I also thank God for giving me these amazing kids. Aside from easing some of their difficulties, I would not change them for anything. If you ask me, the world needs more people like them. Honest, unique, and so full of love. :)
Here are a few photos of us from the past few days...
My family = pure joy