spectrum

‘The father apologized. ‘Mind if I try something?’ By the end of the flight, it clicked. He was astounded.’: Dad ‘nearly cries’ after speech pathologist teaches autistic son to communicate on plane for the first time

“On my flight, I sat next to a father and his autistic son. Before it even took off, there was screaming, hitting, grabbing. The father repeatedly apologized, but did little else. He warned it would be a difficult flight. ‘Not to worry.’ I had experience with minimally verbal kiddos. By the end of it, his son was changed.”

‘My daughter came home from preschool different. She was biting herself. She stopped speaking, sleeping, playing with toys. I could no longer write it off.’ Mom receives Rett Syndrome diagnosis, told it’s ‘one of the most severe cases’

“I get a call from the geneticist. The call drops 3 separate times. The most important call of our life and I miss it. I sit and wait. My phone rings again. He says, ‘Genetics just confirmed Evie has Rett Syndrome.’ He says, ‘There’s no cure. We can’t change it. You can’t do anything.’ My heart sank. This was serious.”

‘Charlie?! CHARLIE!’ My son wouldn’t look at me anymore. I didn’t even recognize him. My entire world came crashing down. The doctor told me ‘not to worry’. I later learned how wrong she was.’

“It all happened so fast. He stopped speaking altogether. I wasn’t hearing his sweet little voice saying ‘thank you’ after I gave him a cookie. He didn’t like to be touched anymore. He avoided people, even us, his parents. I wasn’t prepared to hear the diagnosis. It hit me hard. My jaw dropped.”

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