Most parents will never forget the day they realized their child had autism. For me, it was the day we went to the circus. That was the day my denial ended, and our autism journey started.
They say autism is a marathon, not a sprint, and I have to say I agree with that sentiment. Our marathon began in 2006 with the arrival of my identical twin sons, born at 26 weeks.
My daughter, Ryan, was born December 4, 2002. Three and a half years later, she was diagnosed with autism. I became concerned about her development at age 2 ½, when she didn’t answer to her name, protested any demand placed on her, and was extremely tactile-defensive.
Medical professionals gave them little hope. “We had to become our child’s advocate,” says Sue. “We had to find doctors we could trust. We were living under a veil of bleakness, feeling isolated.”
“Dad, I miss hockey.” That’s what my 6 year-old son, who has autism, said to me a couple of weeks ago as we were getting ready for dinner. I can honestly say that I never expected to hear those words from him.
Watch a great video on TACA Dads!
Families share their stories how TACA has helped them on their autism journeys.
I wanted to write a note of gratitude to TACA. But, I want to share this here so everyone that you know – knows that you saved a child’s life – and that child is my son, Brandon.
When you first undergo the shock of the newest word to your vocabulary…. “Autism” you go through a roller coaster of emotions. I remember reaching out to friends and family, all of whom were as clueless as I was, but still secretly hoping they would be by my side as I started this incredible journey.
We didn’t expect our pediatrician to tell us she thought our infant son’s problems were signs of autism. But we are glad she did: in that moment she added precious months – maybe years – to his intervention.
On March 21, 2002 my dreams to be a mother became fulfilled. I gave birth to a beautiful boy and we named him Akshay, in Sanskrit it means “everlasting.” I remember calling his name right after delivery and watching his little cap covered head flop towards me, hearing the sound of my voice. It was the best moment ever!
“I need you to go to this meeting about how to deal with school districts.” “There will be lawyers there that you can talk to, and other parents, and advocates, and no school people and…..” “Okay, okay” I finally blurted out, where is it? “It is at TACA” my wife explained. “TACO, what the heck is TACO?” My wife sternly corrected me, “It’s called Talk About Curing Autism, T-A-C-A! and you are going.”
We were also truly blessed in being referred to Lisa Ackerman and TACA within a week of hearing that our son may have autism. Although our now 8-year-old son is not recovered (yet), he attends a regular education elementary school, gets straight As, adores his little sister and plays the piano beautifully. I am deeply thankful to TACA for so many of these miracles.