See this little guy? This is our beautiful toddler TJ. He’s just a little over two and a half, has wiry red hair and a personality to match. He loves trains and anything with wheels, and he would spend his entire life outside if we let him. He’s always moving, incredibly clever, and fiercely affectionate. He loves his baby brother and brings so much joy to our lives.
He also has autism.
A few months ago, I took TJ in for a checkup with our family doctor. Because he wasn’t talking as much as other children his age, she put us in touch with an early childhood organization that helps toddlers and preschoolers develop. After a few weeks of meetings, tests, and lots of paperwork, we got the diagnosis I had been dreading: TJ was on the autism spectrum.
The time since the diagnosis has been a roller coaster of ups and downs. We’ve had good days, bad days, and days straight from Hell. If you’re in a similar place, have friends who are, or think your child may have some sort of sensory or developmental challenges, know you’re not alone. Your feelings are valid.