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"I saw the delays. He walked later then my eldest. He didn't talk, he babbled. He had moments where he zoned and I couldn't reach him. Dante would wrap himself in a blanket and rock. When he was borne he cried, he cried when I tried to feed him or hold him close. I thought he hated me."
— Click to read more of Dante's story —
Autism is one of the fastest-growing learning and developmental disabilities in the United States: a child is diagnosed every 20 minutes. Autism costs Americans close to $40 billion per year — a figure that underscores the extreme need for further funding, research, and awareness about autism.
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My sweet little man Ian just turned three in September. We found out yesterday that he had autism. He was fast on all of his milestones until he turned two. He had literally just stopped learning. He was picking up on words like a champ, but could not put them in sentences, and it was so frustrating for him not to be able to communicate with me.
I didn't think it was a big deal. I figured he just learned at a slower pace than most kids. The doctor told us at two that he was showing all the signs of it, and I completely ignored him and all the help they offered. I didn't want to believe that my child would ever go through this. I was hesitant to tell people, figuring they would judge or be mean to him, or treat him differently. But I have been reading everyone's stories, and you all have helped me so much through this process because I was scared not knowing what to do.
We do go through the HORRIBLE tantrums. He rocks constantly. He has one favorite toy and that's his woody doll, and he can not literally go anywhere without him. He lines things up and will throw horrific fits if anything is slightly moved. He is so brilliant though — he can work puzzles that are for five year olds. We are now starting the process for his speech and we will just take it day by day.
Whitney, Bluff City, TN