I was 20 weeks pregnant with my first daughter when we found she had gastroschisis. Basically, her intestines formed outside of her body, upon birth, she would be taken to the NICU for surgery.
That bag thingy, you see there hanging above her, that would be her intestine. Simple gravity gradually eases the intestines back in, then surgery closes the “hole” up.
And that was the easy part.
At 6 months she started therapy. She had tummy issues and completely skipped the crawling stage. Walking and talking came extremely late. She would go on to have occupational therapy, and speech therapy.
Over the years, my husband and I knew “something” was off. Something was just not clicking. I would bring my concerns to her school, to her pediatrician, to anyone who would listen to me.
It seemed odd to me that she lacked emotion, would not make eye contact. She always seemed to be in her own little world and she was content with that.
“Maybe it is a phase, lets check her again in six months.”
“She is progressing slowly, at least it is progress.”
“She will not be like this for the rest of her life.”
Well, Today, even for a brief moment I felt joy. Today, my daughter was officially diagnosed with autism.
Today I have been validated.