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My Daughter Is Healthy, Happy -- and on the Autism Spectrum

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My daughter was diagnosed with autism when she was around 2 years old. I remember taking her to regular checkups with her pediatrician and having him mention that we needed to go to a developmental doctor for a consultation. The faint idea of her being not OK burnt me. I was worried about what she would have to go through in life. Lots of negative thoughts came rushing through my mind. I found myself feeling guilty, hopeless, questioning if it was my fault, and worried about her future.

I went through various stages, from denial, grief, confusion and finally acceptance. It wasn’t easy to take it all in. Just like any mother, all I wanted was for my kid to be healthy and happy. And it took me a while to realize that my baby is in fact healthy and happy. She’s not less, she’s gifted.

I remember taking her to all those therapy sessions. We spent 12 hours, six days a week between a nursery for children with disabilities and afternoon therapy sessions. After five years of early intervention, my daughter is now verbal, her motor skills are equivalent to children her age, and she is able to communicate with me.

What I’m trying to say is that hard work pays off, and the things I thought are beyond reach (hence impossible) were achieved. Every time I look at her, I can’t help but stare at her, impressed by how far she’s come.

For all those parents who just received their children’s diagnosis, early intervention works. This is coming from a mother who just like you thought it was impossible. All you need is to keep moving forward, continue to follow your gut, and definitely continue going to those therapy sessions.

I never stopped feeling blessed to have my baby girl, from the minute I held her, but after this long stressful journey we have shared, my love for her has a whole new meaning.
If I had to go back in time, I would do it all exactly the same way. We fought hard to be where we’re at right now. So please, keep moving forward, and achieve the impossible.

Getty image by Ridofranz.

Originally published: February 24, 2021
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