Michael's Story

Our son Michael was a miracle baby for us, being conceived after 17 months of trying and two losses. I had used fertility treatments to finally conceive him so you can imagine our delight when he joined our lives! My amazing son was born on May 29th, 2008, by emergency c-section due to a prolapsed cord, after approximately 36 hours of labor. He came into this world keeping us on our toes and has not stopped since!

When Michael was about 20 months old, we noticed he was not progressing with his speech. He had maybe 10 words, most of which were animal "sounds". We had his hearing tested and they found fluid in his ears and suggested we wait 6 weeks and check back. After 6 weeks, his ears were clear. We had him evaluated through the birth to 3 program and he *barely* didn't qualify. They basically told us that they felt he was behind but not enough and that it was probably just due to the fluid they found in his ears. I disagreed with this and I knew he needed therapy so we went and privately had him evaluated. They found that he was probably close to a year behind in his speech so we started therapy at that time.

Since starting therapy he has progressed to many, many words! However, we noticed behavioral issues with him that were not allowing us to progress in therapy. He would refuse, have poor eye contact, and not answer questions. These things were concerning to the therapist who suggested I take him to the pediatrician to have them screen him. I had already been researching the idea of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD) which includes Autism. Michael hit SO MANY of the red flags. When I took him to the pediatrician, they immediately referred us to Mary Bridge Children's Hospital for a full Autism evaluation as they felt he had some form of a PDD. He had even shared with me that when we brought him in at the earlier date with concerns for his hearing, the pediatrician at that time had suspected some form of PDD but didn't say anything. I guess they were on a "wait and see" approach.

Since that appointment with the pediatrician, I have done a lot of research on Autism and red flags, etc and I knew in my heart that our special little miracle is on the spectrum. On July 11th, 2011 we had an appointment with the developmental pediatrician at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital who diagnosed him with PDD-NOS.