April is Autism Awareness/Acceptance month. Technically our first year honoring this as an Autism family. Last year at this time I was just starting to speak out about how I was pretty sure Courtney had autism. She was not diagnosed yet even though I was pretty sure about it. I was still trying to convince my husband that she had Autism. My family and close friends know how difficult that part of the journey was. A year ago she was only receiving 4 hours of therapy and was not yet 3 so wasn’t in school. In April last year we were 3 months into the 6 month wait to see a developmental pediatrician to get a diagnosis. A year ago I anxiously waited for a phone call from the developmental pediatrician saying they could take us earlier because at that point, I just needed the confirmation so I didn’t have to work on convincing loved ones that she had autism and I could spend more time working on making sure she was getting all the services she needed. What a difference a year makes! Now Courtney has the official diagnosis, she’s in preschool and making great progress, we’ve added many hours of therapy and all who love her accept the journey we are on.
I actually find it ironic that Autism Awareness Day is just a few days after Amniotic Fluid Embolism Awareness Day. I shared in my last post a picture of me holding Alyssa while hooked up to many machines including being intubated. Not too long after my surgery and several hours before that picture was taken, while family was visiting me in the ICU, my cell phone rang. Called ID said that it was the person I had talked to prior to Alyssa’s delivery about scheduling Courtney to get evaluated by Early Intervention. Still barely knowing what had just happened to me and unable to move or talk, I knew how important that phone call was. Could it have waited, yes, but in my mind we had waited long enough to get Courtney the help that she needed and I didn’t want any more time to pass. I didn’t answer the phone because we were in the ICU, but I frantically typed on my notes app (my form of communicating since I couldn’t talk) a note to Joe saying he needed to call that person ASAP. Sure enough, just days after I got home from my 6 day stay at the hospital, I was having a meeting in my house with a group of people regarding Courtney getting services. So of course it would only make sense for Autism Awareness and AFE Awareness to be around the same time!