It is hard to believe that Eli was diagnosed with PDD NOS almost two years ago. If you are a parent, and you are worried about the development of your child (socially or physically) you should listen to what I have to say. It is easy to reject such a notion, and deny it could be happening to your child, because everyone believes and is is blinded to the fact that their child could be “different”, but as soon as you accept it, the sooner you can correct it. When I say correct it, I mean it. Eli, since receiving therapy for his issues, is a completely different child now, and I can’t say enough to the therapist who worked with him. They have been a miracle.
Yesterday I had the luxury of taking Eli to his new school orientation. It is a school mixed with “on the spectrum children” and “non-spectrum children”. I used to use the words “normal” and “abnormal” but I soon realized that all children are normal, even if they are autistic or have the milder diagnosis of PDD NOS. Eli is a wonderful little boy, polite, smarter than 90% of the kids around him, has a true photographic memory, but he had his social issues, stimming to help him in awkward situations and some OT issues like holding a crayon the correct way and using a spoon and fork. His development used to be about six months slower than his peers in these trouble areas, and now, he is so far more advanced than his peers in the same areas for his age group. He competes, and wins in all areas against people his own age and older. That my friends, is amazing. If you put Eli up in a lineup of 10 kids, all around his age, he would shine above them. The difference is amazing.
Yet he still has his issues, like many sensory things like splashing in water that he is uncomfortable, riding bikes, trying some “scary” things that other kids would just rush into. For example, he still won’t ride his bike, because he is scared. He still would rather play inside than outside, although yesterday all he wanted to do is be outside in the hot humid air. Go figure!
The best part is my change in attitude, I used to be embarrased and shamed that my son was PDD NOS as if it was a brand of retardation or autism. I rejected the diagnosis and even though I did the right thing by getting him help, I always wondered if he would have just outgrown it. Now I embrace it, and I use it towards his advantage. He gets the help he needs, and we see the reward of him being a fully capable young lad. When I tell people he is PDD NOS they are shocked, and then I am proud that I did the right thing, and even happier that I was able to swallow my pride and get him help.
Eli is amazing, not because he is PDD NOS, but because he has the wonderful personality every parent dreams about. He is kind to others, socially capable, physically on top of his game and smarter than a whip. He is compassionate towards others and a good friend. As a parent, I could not be more proud of his achievements and we all look forward to him being a great big brother in six weeks.
If you child is showings any signs of autism, even gentle signs that you think he/she will grow out of, then get him/her evaluated. It is free. If they need help, the help is free, and trust me when I say the therapy works and will make a difference in the long term success of your child. TRUST ME, ignoring the issue until they are in Kindergarten is the worst thing you can do, it is hard to fix problems in that setting. Early intervention is the key to success.
If you need help, or have questions. Feel free to reach out to my wife and I. We would be happy to talk to you about it. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and will be happy to send you my phone number so we can chat.