Written by Ailish Irwin
Meet Easton! He is a happy, funny and smart little boy. He also has autism - but it is just a part of him...autism does not define who he is!
It was evident to our family that Easton’s development was not typical from a very young age. We called him “quirky”! He was always happy and would laugh at anything. He met all of his developmental milestones as a baby. But we still knew something was different with Easton. When he was 18 months old we finally convinced our family doctor to refer Easton to a team of developmental specialists. Although he was usually very happy and content, he was not connecting with many people. He did not play with his brothers and sister. He would only repeat phrases from his favourite TV shows or sing songs. He could talk but he could not communicate. He had no way of asking for things. He was obsessed with drawing circles in a little notebook over and over and over - this is how he “played”. He would hit his head when he was frustrated and had many sensory processing issues.
Easton was assessed just after the age of 2. The doctors said Easton has Autism Spectrum Disorder; we said he is perfect! The diagnoses did not come as a surprise for us. It gave us a place to start in getting Easton the help and therapy he needed!
Easton is now 3 years old and has an amazing team of professionals working with him. He currently attends an Applied Behaviour Analysis Preschool 5 days a week, Speech and Occupational Therapy once a week and Music Therapy monthly. The change in Easton is remarkable - but every step forward is one that he has worked extremely hard to make. Although there is no cure for autism, early and intensive therapy is giving Easton the best future possible. Our family is committed to doing everything in our power to assist Easton’s continued development!
Easton deserves love, compassion, understanding and acceptance like all children do. His brain functions differently and this is out of his control. But we are all in control of how we treat him, and others, with autism!
The Autism Speaks Canada blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks Canada’s beliefs or point of view.