My Daughter was showing signs of ASD under age two. I always thought she was quirky but as she grew older her milestones were behind and there was something a bit alarming happening which I will go into more detail on.

Isla was a sleepless baby. Newborns sleep for many hours a day but our Isla slept very little compared to newborns, She was very restless and seemed to never rest. As she grew older at around a year and half we really started noticing signs after the Pediatrician told us Isla was behind on her milestones and didn’t really seem to be responding to her name. She mentioned the word Autism.I have heard of Autism before but knew nothing really about it. Don’t feel shy if you do not either. Most people do not understand or know what Autism is or what the signs would be other than the generic crap that I hate they advertise that isn’t at all true for all of ASD. The Pediatrician said that she would recommend an evaluation at her two year checkup since most facilities require that you be at least two years of age before evaluation although, some places will do one as young as eighteen months.

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I started researching for hours a day to educate myself and caught myself doing my own evaluation on Isla. I would say her name to see if she would look back at me. She rarely did. I would point across the room to see if she would look to where I was pointing, she didn’t. I observed her playing and noticed she only played alongside her Brother or parallel to him not directly in play with him. I noticed she did something called “stimming”. She would spin in circles for countless amount of sessions a day not with a smile or laughter. She would just do this with no expression on her face. Also noticed another form of stimming which was jumping up and down while doing something called “flapping” her hands ( hands opening and closing repetitively and also another flapping looks like a bird flapping its wings) I noticed she loved to rub her face and body on baby blankets. She did this many times a day and learned from observation that this was very soothing to her. Something quirky that alot of ASD children love is very odd gadgets and such. My girl LOVED silverware! She would carry it around the house and make a pile then carry it somewhere else and make a pile. She also loved batteries and sewing needles which I had to end up putting a lock on my sewing room door because she would always find them. A big sign for me was her repetitiveness, even at six months old she would pick up items, place them in a container then dump them out. She did this for about 35 minutes at a time many many many times a day. She does this still at three and half years old.

After I noticed many signs, I made an appointment for an evaluation a couple of days after her second birthday. She was diagnosed as “moderate- severe ASD”. I did not want to go off one persons evaluation so I went to another Autism facility and setup another evaluation and it was quickly confirmed she was in fact Autistic. This diagnosis has helped us tremendously in getting to learn more about our Isla. I quickly put her into therapy and was coached on how to communicate effectively with her and I will be forever grateful for that!

Kelsee Van Nus