Diagnosis: "Zach has autism."

So David and I jumped on the possibility that Zach may have autism as far fetched as that seemed at the time.We started with the family doctor and thankfully he heard enough to take it to the next level. We were told it may take awhile so we started to wait. Canadian health care system...isn't it great.

We were asked to fill out some questionnaires on Zach. Thankfully it was a 'good time of year' to start the process. Is there really any time that is good to go through these investigations? So it took about three months. The Children's hospital had just started a new program and sent a behavioral therapist into our home to get an accurate view of how Zach functioned in his natural environment.

The therapist came to our house about four to five times and she saw enough to get the speech therapist, an occupational therapist and the behavior therapist to observe Zach. I could tell with their questioning that they were going to tell us that Zach had autism.

On their last visit we went through the markers for autism and Zach had the speech delay, the odd behaviour and the impaired social interaction. They questioned if we wanted a diagnosis or how we would feel about a diagnosis.

In retrospect, we could see classic markers for autism but didn't even realize it. Zach never pointed and he didn't share enjoyment when there was something of interest.

He used us when he wanted something by grabbing our arms and taking us to whatever he wanted. We were pretty much just a means to an end. The speech delay played a huge role in his lack of understanding, inability to communicate and huge frustrations leading to tantrums and hitting.

He had some sensitivities...he did not like the bright sun shining in his eyes and would scream and cry. If we gave him some food with a texture he didn't like he would separate the texture in his mouth but he couldn't spit it out. He did not like hot food. I always wondered why I warmed up his food because he would never eat it when it was hot. He only drank from a bottle and only milk. He does not drink from a straw and still cannot. (This is not typical with autism but just something different with Zach.)

We lived in a condo at this time and Zach kinda had his odd routines. He needed to touch a post whenever we went down to the underground parking.

So with all this we headed to the pediatrician. At two years and two months we had a diagnosis. What happened to my perfect little boy? I had to separate the diagnosis and my love for Zach. He hadn't changed at all that day just now he had a diagnosis that went along with Zach. So life continued....