Widgets Magazine

Mar 2, 2011

Autism: Terrifying Twos

Several months later, my sweetie finally convinced me to call a highly-respected local children’s hospital that offered speech therapy. It was May and summer was approaching. As we drove the several miles to his appointment, I looked at my growing son. He was no longer a toddler. At two and a half, he was big for his age. His body was sturdy, athletic, and already tan from his habit of undressing as soon as he got through the back door. Thank goodness, he usually left his diaper on. His blond hair was tousled and too long. He didn’t understand the need to have it cut and I didn’t have the energy to pin him down while someone cut it for him. 

I was six months pregnant and feeling rather sick at the prospects of making this drive once a week. My son was diagnosed as developmentally impaired and his scores were in the severe range. Then a therapist led us to the sound booth. My son refused to enter this closet-sized room without me. We sat on the single chair between what looked like two large stereo speakers. We could see the therapist through the sound-proof glass. She was busy with switches and knobs. My sweet little son looked around and then squirmed in my arms. He didn’t want to be there either. 

Suddenly, very softly, we heard his name through the speakers. He turned toward the speaker on the right. A little black and white cow sat in a glass box on top of the speaker. Then we heard his name through the left speaker. He turned his head toward the brown and white cow that was perched on the left speaker. After several more tries at different tones, he successfully found the right cow with his eyes each time. Then the little brown and white cow suddenly let out a loud "MOOOO!" and started pumping its tail. My son screamed and jumped from my lap. I gathered his quivering little body and he hung on tight. We stepped from the booth and the therapist said, "About 50% of the kids like the cow. I don’t know, maybe we shouldn’t do it." "Yuh think!"  

After 7 weeks of therapy, the birth of my baby, and no improvement in my son’s condition, I removed him from the clinic. He had grown during the last five months, but his ability to speak and communicate had not changed. My Princess was only 10 days old and I was desperately tired and discouraged.

Jump to part 3.

1 comment:

Mom of 12 said...

Mom, I totally remember that. When Bossy used to live in the house, I didn't really like her toy cow that moved around like that. Every little toy that moved like that, made me feel like it was all too real. --Dog Walker.


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