Seriously, where to start with that one? He has been my biggest worry since well before he was diagnosed. And, I am a bit sad to say, he was diagnosed later then he should have. All of the signs (glaring, blinking and in neon) were there, but every time I brought it up to not one but two pediatricians, they told me that he was a bit delayed, but still within the range of normal.
And those signs? The earliest one should have been the biggest one. Hand flapping. Every time he saw a spinning object, he would just shiver with excitement and start flapping his little hands. Then poor motor skills. Delayed speech. And when he did speak, it was as if he was speaking a slurry foreign language. My little Drunk Frenchman. And he never pointed at objects that he wanted.
So pull out your ASD Handbooks, and look under "signs", and then feel free to smack me in the head and say "great going, Sherlock". I still look at videos of Isaac from those early years and wonder how on Earth it was missed. Except to say that we really wanted those two doc's to be right. Even as he was being kicked out of his 3rd daycare, and the delta between him and his peers grew wider and wider. He was a loving and affectionate little boy, who had a real interest in other people. Didn't that mean he wasn't? Shouldn't he be lining up cars and OCD-ing about Thomas the Tank Engine if he was?
He was four-and-a-half before it all came together. First Kaiser gave him his medical diagnosis (moderate to severe? really?), then MESD gave us the educational one. And in a flurry of paperwork and parent meetings, he officially entered the Spectrum.
We still feel guilt it took that long. Lost years, that he can't get back and all of that. Letting go of that guilt is still a work in progress, and I am sure he will figure out a way to funnel that guilt into the latest laptop or MP3 player some day.
Since then things have gotten better. And worse. Will go into that later. I just remember looking at my infant daughter as we were going over the official paperwork to enroll Isaac into Early Education. "Thank God she is a girl. Will not have to worry about her as much. What are the chances that she, a female, will have an ASD?"