- She’s four and a half years old
- She loves cuddles, tickles, hugs, bathtime, climbing, going to the park and singing
- She doesn’t talk
- She has autism
We got the diagnosis last year. At the time I was in denial. I genuinely didn’t believe that she had autism, that she could have autism. Right up until the last, I had convinced myself that the diagnosis would turn out to be verbal dyspraxia, ’cause that would explain the lack of speech, right? Ha ha. Ha.
Nope, it was autism. And looking back, I find it incredibly hard to understand my reluctance to believe she had ASD. It just seems so… normal now. And in fact, I’m a little weirded out by Little Man’s development. He is — or promises to be — neurotypical, and it’s so strange seeing him, at 14 months out, doing things that Wee Girl has only started to do relatively recently, like making the gestures for ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’. To tell the truth, I find the thought of a child who talks disconcerting. Unnatural, almost. I’m so used to the way Wee Girl communicates.
She has made a great deal of progress over the last year, something which I credit to our discovery and use of Floortime, something which no one seems to have heard of, but which is utterly, utterly wonderful and an awful lot of fun. The idea behind Floortime is that you interact with the child appropriately for the level they have reached, with a view to helping them engage both with you and the world around the — an engaged child is a child who is able to learn. It’s simpler than it sounds, but since starting it, I have seen a real difference in her ability to engage with the world — she is more purposeful, and is, I believe, starting to try to talk.
But even if she never says a word, she’s my quirky, funny, cheeky monkey and I love her with all my heart.