Over the proceeding months we cared and nurtured our baby boy as any loving parents would. We watched him grow, play and eventually start crawling. It was all very exciting and the joy Braiden bought to our family was immense.
By the time he was one he was already walking, he was a handsome baby who was so pretty he was often mistaken for a girl.
As the first few years of his life passed us, we were so consumed with braiden as any new parents would be, but by the time he had hit 3 we were a little concerned that his speech had not progressed as we would of liked. We didn’t think too much of it, hearing stories of children who didn’t speak until 5 or other people saying as soon as he starts pre school and starts socialising with other children he would start talking. However we also noticed that braiden didn’t socialise with his cousins or with other children as we thought he might. With his communication skills low and his social skills none existing we thought a trip to the paediatrician would be the way to go.
After seeing the doctor and asking for his diagnosis he was a little hesitant to say much with out further testing. So we took him of to have his hearing tested, everything was fine there. So the next step was to have what they called a Griffith test done. We took him along to the place where they had everything set up for him. Being a little shy and somewhat anxious little boy, this was making him feel uncertain and in feeling this way, us as parent became anxious for him.
He did the test is was putting block together and making puzzles etc, we thought he did ok. Some tasks he was asked to do; he didn’t complete, as he has a short attention span, and gets bored quite easily. However they were tasks we thought on any given day he would complete easily.
A week or so later the psychologist gave us the results, explaining what they mean and how it was a good test but needed further testing to confirm her initial results, which were Braiden was speech delayed and bordering on Autism. In fact that was her diagnosis.
We as parents were shattered, not knowing exactly what it meant, but had a general if not naïve idea about autism.
Back to the paediatrician we went, him wanting to do a blood test to check if there was, well I don’t know exactly what for, but we refused to put him through that anyways, knowing how anxious he would be. So he referred us to a specialist team at Campbeltown hospital in Western Sydney.
This took nearly 6 months to finally be seen by a professional group of medicos, consisting of; psychologist, speech therapist and other people specialising in the diagnosis of childhood needs. Needless to say the diagnosis was even clearer. Not only was he Autistic, it was moderate on the scale, so in the middle if you like.
He is always loved and even more so now, if that’s possible. This site is something, which I am doing as a father for my sweet gentle little boy, to show the world and hopefully inform them and myself along the way how precious our children are. I don’t know if I will ever be able to have a constructive conversation with Braiden, or will we speak in single word sentences for the rest of our lives, I don’t know how many times he will feel ostracised by ignorant people or how I will act in these circumstances as a protective father.
All I know is I love him more than anything else in the world and he brings laughter, love and a naïve playfulness to our whole family, and we LOVE him........