when the going got tough

the tough got going. And so we did. Elijah was diagnosed aged just over 2 and a half years old. It took us almost one year to get to this point. A lot of time that could and should have been used differently. Early diagnosis and effective intervention is vital with autism. In Germany and in England babies have regular check ups but unfortunately no one checks for signs of autism. It´s not rocket sience. The Mifne Center in Israel does it and so could pediatricians anywhere else too. Mifne states the following as markers for autism

1.Excessive passivity (lack of crying, lack of interest in surroundings) ... That was Elijah from birth until around 18 months old

2. Excessive activity (lack of physical calmness, incessant crying) ... Elijah screamed for hours on end without any obvious reason and without responding to any soothing

3. Refusal or resistance to feeding or nursing (breastfeeding/others) ... he was fine with breastfeeding but had a real food refusal phase from age two and a half for a few months which was really scary and he had to be put on a trip to survive

4. Lack of reaction to voice or presence of a parent (doesn’t turn his head, doesn’t smile, doesn’t babble) yes very obvious in Elijah, he did cry when he saw me but if I stepped out of sight he would stop never turning his head even if I still spoke to him. There were no smiles for us and no babble but he did smile to himself and spoke a few words around age 12 months of age.

5. Aversion to parental touch (or any other person) I did carry him in a baby carrier for almost 6 hours every day and because of the breastfeeding we had a lot of body contact but he never sought it and he hated being massaged or having cream put on.

6. Lack of direct eye contact (can follow objects) no eye contact and he did not follow objects with his eyes and did not react to sound ( no ID . Intentionality Detector)

7. Delayed motor development (followed by hypotonic/high stiff muscle tone) very late roller, sitter, crawler and walker...nearly lost ability to sit and walk at age 19 months. After that walked unsteady as if he were to fall at any minute. 

8. Rapid growth of the circumference of the head (in relation to the initial point). He had to have T-Shirts and Sweaters with zips and buttons (which he chewed off) from around 6 months until aged 6y.

At least two characteristics of the eight signs must exist, over a period of at least three weeks.

So there you are. How can it be that no health visitor in the UK and no doctor or pediatrician in Germany picked any of this up? How can it be that I was repeatedly told that he would be fine? How can it be that they did not check for these signs? Did not take my concerns and worries seriously? I told them on the day after he was born that something was wrong. It took nearly three years until he started with autismspecific therapy and that was only one hour a week!


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