Esme was a great baby - she cried all the time, slept very little and needed to be held 24 hours a day... all that great baby stuff! She hit all her milestones right on time - she sat up at 5 months, walked at 11 months, and said her first words before her first birthday. She was a happy, healthy girl who loved to look at books, watch movies and play with her daddy! She was a little bit distant at times, but we just figured she wasn't one of these jolly babies who laugh at everything and anything.
When she was around a year old, things started to change. I started a home daycare and Esme began getting sick all the time. She ran very high fevers almost daily for months and was very unhappy. She would sometimes have seizures when the fevers got very high, and Cameron and I spent more than one evening at the emergency room with our little one. Finally spring came and the illnesses stopped. We breathed a sigh of relief. Esme was feeling good and was doing great. She was a little under a year and a half and had 18 - 20 words, though some of them were in Esme's "special language', she was a great communicator when she wanted to be.
When she hit 18 months she suddenly lost all but one or two of her words. She became very withdrawn, did not respond to her name and made very little eye contact. Needless to say, we were very concerned and booked an appointment with our doctor and with WeeTalk, a speech and language agency where we live. Since then we have been to all kinds of specialists. While we are still waiting for an official diagnosis (waiting lists for a diagnosis are 12 - 18 months long), her doctors and specialists agree that Esme has autism or ASD (autism spectrum disorder). We should get our diagnosis in the spring.
Until then, Esme attends speech therapy once / week. We are on the waiting list for Occupational Therapy and additional speech therapy. Once we have a diagnosis, other therapies will become available to us. While we wait for a diagnosis, we have also started some biomedical treatments and some ABA therapy at home (I was an ABA instructor therapist before I had Esme).
Esme is now 27 months old and is already making some gains. She is much less withdrawn these days, and makes pretty good eye contact - especially with Cameron and I. She has learned a few new words and signs, and is beginning to learn to use them to ask for things. She is learning to point and to follow a simple direction - though she fights us at every request! She is very strong-willed and figures out how to do anything she's put her mind to.
Esme is loved by so many people. This blog is to keep everyone updated about Esme's progress and to keep a record of Esme's story as she recovers from autism.