Yes, it just sort of ‘happened’. My sweet Wyatt was kind of different. It was hard. But he was different. What was it? I couldn’t say at that moment, he was my first baby. We were far away from our family. He was so perfect and beautiful to me! Also, guess what? Many of the weird things that he was doing were the same things other babies do, too. So I would never imagine telling anybody else ‘I think he does quirky things’. He was just a baby… It was only until that day, at the age of 2 years and 3 months, after 1 ½ hour of a psychological test, every single thing came back to my mind and I was able to understand that there certainly was something else behind every single 'I am different' kind of action.
The psychologist simply said ‘we are talking about the possibility of Autism, DO YOU UNDERSTAND?’ And just in case she repeated it 2 or 3 more times until I broke in tears in front of her. She also warned me, ‘We don’t know if he will start bouncing in front of the wall or even be able to talk’. My heart was completely broken, though I had always had a strange feeling.
How did we end up here?
After every single pediatrician appointment I kept changing professionals because I didn’t like the lack of support with breastfeeding and their looks at us when we talked about following an alternative vaccine schedule. Wyatt, a very healthy boy, seemed to reach every milestone, but doctor consultations were never longer than 5 minutes, and most of the time they used the time to talk about the risk of not vaccinating my son. He was around 10 months old when I realized that he wasn’t following the age milestones. Also I noticed that after his vaccines, every time I took him to the park he didn’t want to play or stay and I needed to hold him for 1 hour until he was ready to touch the ground for a couple of weeks. I decided to stop every single vaccine even though I didn’t know if something else was going on for sure. It was during his 2-years old Well Checkup when I spoke with the pediatrician about my feelings and the fact that Wyatt wasn’t talking at all. ‘He looks fine to me’ she said, ‘but let me refer you to a psychologist just in case’. Meanwhile we can stop the vaccines but, yada, yada, yada…’
Two months later we met the Psychologist. We discovered that Wyatt wasn’t making eye contact, I found his toys in line at home many times, only planes, or separated by category. We understood everything he wanted or needed but he wasn’t talking or trying to communicate with us. Not even a ‘mom’ or ‘dad’. He didn’t follow any single command like ‘Can you put the diaper in the trash?’ or ‘Where is the cat?’ Even after reading the same book after 4 months every night, he wasn’t pointing to ask for simple things like water or food. He was extremely self-directed, would climb on top of ANYTHING (counter, chairs, table, coffee table, windows, etc…) to get the things he wanted. He was nonstop at all times, unable to play with a toy for more than 2-5 minutes. He didn’t measure danger. When outside, he would walk all around the place, we would call him 10 or more times and he would continue walking further and further away like nothing was happening.
We use attachment parenting and extended breastfeeding. We tried sign language starting at 6 months of age. We are well-educated parents and love good manners at home, sitting at the table, we tried to teach him to be polite, clean, to brush teeth, dress up, to listen to a book…For a long time we were very patient repeating words and actions, giving options, talking nice, singing and reading. But nothing worked with Wyatt until we knew his diagnosis and got help trough Regional Center with Early Intervention Programs, Speech, Occupational Therapist and more… I wished I had said something about it before to have caught it even earlier.
Today I want to introduce you to a very important person in our life. We were already friends, yet only when it was the right moment to talk about it, she was there to listen and help. I didn’t know she was going to be such an important referral in our lives.
Crystal Williams is a very knowledgeable professional, prudent, lovely, and an amazing mother. I did consult her every single time when I was told to do something for Wyatt but I couldn’t know if that was going to help him or make him worse. She was able to offer me information, support and thousands of amazing ideas to help Wyatt to self-regulate, play, have fun, listen, and learn. It is my honor to have her as a part of the Breast Time of Life team. You can email her for questions and check her articles by following the link to Inspired Development, or simply by clicking here.
Breast milk contains all the necessary nutrients to help your baby to grow healthy and also nourish your baby with love. That love can be the foundation that will help to shape his personality, too. When you breastfeed, you’re also giving your baby the opportunity to develop his maximum potential. My feelings as Wyatt’s mother are that, through breastfeeding, I gave him the opportunity to develop his maximum potential when I didn’t even know if there was something else.
As a Lactation Consultant I did hear many times ‘I wish I had known this before. Most likely I would try to get more help to breastfeed my baby or breastfeed for a longer period of time’.
I hope this website can help you to find help as soon as possible!