Treading Water



By Jennifer Hopkins on April 5, 2017

I felt like the new kid at school going into that 12 month old wellness check-up.

“All the baby websites say that he should be waving back and playing peek-a-boo, but he’s not doing any of that.”

“Relax. I know you worked in the field. You’re looking for things. He’s a boy and sometimes boys are a little behind. We’ll talk about it again at his 15 month check-up.”

The 15 month check-up came and went with the same advice, only this time to call if there was no progress at 16 months. Deep down I knew, but I didn’t want to accept that something might not be right.

By 17 months, we had our answer. Autism.  It began a flurry of appointments, therapies, doctor visits and sleepless nights. I was barely keeping my head above water, always treading, but never reaching the shore. I hated the slew of therapists in and out of my home, my sanctuary, my private space; but I refused to make it about me and endured the intensive therapy schedule.  In the midst of those 18 months, I saw no end. No relief. But life never stays the same. I finally felt my feet touch bottom by his third birthday. He had made progress. I still had a ways to go to reach land, with the transition to the public school system and new ever-evolving challenges, but I could breathe and had finally arrived at a place of acceptance.