Long before C's official diagnosis we knew something was amiss; there were little signs, things that didn't seem quite right. Nothing, however, that we couldn't attribute to his being a sick boy with a rare lung disease. Then, around his second birthday, we noticed what many refer to as 'regression.'
He started to disappear. His expression was vacant. He stopped saying 'hello' and 'goodbye,' 'mommy' and 'daddy.' It seemed like he was vanishing. We'd ask each other if C was even there anymore, a question I've since learned is common among ASD parents. At the time, it was frightening and depressing.
With an official diagnosis came therapy, and lots of it, sometimes 20-30 hours a week. The routine is demanding for C, and means a lot of schedule juggling for us, the burden of which falls to my wife, but the results are worth it.
C still has autism — he always will — and there remains a lot of work to do; nonetheless, we have our son back, and for that we are grateful beyond words.