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Nick's Story

Before becoming a mother a little over 3 years ago, I had no to little knowledge on Autism Spectrum Disorder.

My baby Nick, was perfectly healthy born at 39 weeks he was a little stubborn causing complications during birth, but still very healthy. He met every milestone early, until around 11-12 months. I started to research Autism since he lost the few words he was using and he not did respond to his name or any instructions. I felt like something wasn't right, I have been told by close ones that he was just a ''slow'' learner, but a mother knows and I kept fighting to build the foundation for his future.

I brought my concerns up to his pediatrician who then said there were red flags but she suggested waiting until 18 months to put him on the waiting list to be evaluated and start some services.

A year went by he still did not say a single word, did not point, did not wave and he started to talk in Jargon.

He finally started speech therapy around 2 and a half. The most amazing thing happened he could sign.

He slowly started to replace the signs for words. But the odd behaviors continued and he did not engage in pretend play he continued to spend his days lining up his toy cars. He is the sweetest boy, he loves to learn he continues to amaze me every single day. He was diagnosed with mild autism and a severe speech delay week after his 3rd birthday.

He has come so far it's amazing. We still have a long road to go, I hope soon we can have conversations together.

I am hopeful for the future, never give up, be your child advocate be their voice.

Cornwall, ON, Canada

Ariella's Story

Our little angel, Ariella, 2 1/2, has not yet been diagnosed. Her behaviors, head hitting, flapping of her hands, spinning around, watching the ceiling fan, licking objects, and many more, all lead us to believe she is autistic. She is non-verbal. She makes noises that we think sound like words sometimes, but nothing substantial. It has been a very difficult road thus far. Me and my husband are very impatient people, and we both feel as if god blessed us with her to help build patience. She is been working with EI for only a few months, and there have already been improvements. When we first filled out the paperwork for EI for the autism team, I did at first feel very upset, and went through the whole "Why her, why me, why us", but as the days go by, I know how truly special she is. She brings so much joy to me, my husband, and her big sister.

Jessica Booth
Hanover twp, PA

This is Caleb.

Everyone meet Caleb!

I was only 17 when i discovered i would be blessed with a beautiful boy with Down Syndrome. It was difficult for me to raise a baby at such a young age, especially one with special needs but it wasn't until last year that he was diagnosed with Autism. For the past 10 years, I use to ask myself, 'why me?' because each day i was faced with new challenges; however, the more i took the time to understand him, the more he opened my eyes and mind to a different world. Even though he is non-verbal, every time i look at him, he shows me that life is beautiful. Its the small things that make him happy, the lights that surround us, the air that we breathe and the hugs that we share. I began to realize that maybe...just maybe..i need him more that he needs me. This little boy, who will soon be 10, has taught me patience & the true meaning of life. Now, instead of asking myself that silly question, 'Why Me?', i ask myself, 'My oh my, what did i do to be blessed with a young boy whose heart is filled with nothing but love & joy?' Do i still long to hear him talk one day, yes, but actions speak louder than words & he is living proof of that, waking up to him hopping into my bed early in the morning just to give me the most warmest hugs & kisses...those moments are priceless and i wouldn't have it any other way!

Oak Harbor, WA

My son Russell, he is autisic and had adhd

This is my son Russell, he was diagnosed with autism in june of 2013. The doctors listed him as mild/sever.

i knew someone was different with Russell when he was 3, thats when his behavior changed and I noticed alot of

other things too...He wouldn't hold eye contact, he wasn't social, he didn't play with any children at daycare. So I took him to his doctor and his doctor refered me to a behavior specialist. Russell has been in counseling since he has been 5 and he just turned 9 last month. On top on autism he also has ADHD.

Russell is a very sweet and loving boy and is very smart but lately these past couple months his behavior has turned drastically, he is so full of anger when he has a tantrum, its scarey. He hurts himself, or atleast tries to cause i step in and do everything that i can to stop him. He just scratched himself or bites himself or hits his head off something but never uses a object or anything on himself. I have a younger son and he tries so hard to be a big boy to help me out when Russell has his meltdowns but its scarey for him sometimes because Russell will get verbal and say mean things.

Ive read alot of the other stories on here of others parents who have children with autism and I pray everynight that things get better because raising a child with autism is challenging. But when I look at Russell and he smiles at me and tell me he loves i know there is hope, its just hard doing it alone.

springville, NY

Meet Sammy

This is Sammy, Our amazing four year old son.

When Sammy was two, and wasn't talking, he started seeing a speech path. Shortly thereafter, she suggested he might have autism. Rather than listen to her suggestions, we were angry with her. How dare she insult our little boy!?

We spent the next six months researching autism with the goal of proving (to ourselves) that she was wrong. We were unsuccessful. We finally decided to entertain the idea and took him for an evaluation.

By this point in time we had figured out that it was more than just delayed speech, and had determined that it was going to be okay.... But then we got that piece of paper, that dreadful paper, and reality set in. Regardless of how prepared we thought we were, Sammy's official diagnosis hit us like a freight train and nearly cost us our marriage. We both alternated between acceptance and depression (deep, dark depression) We mourned the loss of the son we had hoped for - and felt guilty for feeling that way.

But we dove in, started ABA therapy, speech, OT, feeding therapy, etc. Our lives completely changed. Sammy had sleeping troubles, dietary issues, gastrointestinal issues, sensory issues, etc. We had to learn to function on roughly half the sleep we were accustomed to and learn to be on the alert 24/7.

Today, life is much better. The whole family has gotten used to our routine. Sleep remains an issue, and Sammy's calendar is busier than most adults I know, but life is good.

To anyone just starting on this journey, know that there will be trials, know that there will be painful moments - but know that it will get easier, and your child's smile will make it all worth while. You are about to learn what love means on a level that most people will never understand.

On youtube, give the song "Your Child" by Jennifer Shaw a listen.

Portland, OR

my adventure with vinnie

my son vinnie was diagnosed with autism at a very young age. with countless trips to drs we tried medications that he never responded to so we took him off the meds. he was always mainstreamed in the school systems which i think is a good idea. by the time he reached his sophmore year in high school i called his counselor and had him signed up for show choir. he had a fit when i told him what i did but it was the best thing i could of ever done for my son.he was awesome and he even recieved outstanding performer one year. by his senior he had a solo. im here to tell u with lots of encouragement with these kids u would be amazed how far these kids can go in life. he is now 20 yrs old and still not interested in driving. he has been employed at our local mcdonalds and rides his bike to work. he has worked his way up to crew chief. yes he is different but arnt we all in our own way. listen up parents anything is possible with ur help and encouragement with these autistic children. good luck and never give up.

sandy Myers
decatur, IN


My name is Katie, I am 18 years old, and I have high-functioning autism, formerly called Asperger's Syndrome.

When I was born I was normal, insofar as normal is considered. I met all of my milestones, except for being a couple of months late to walk. Since I was born first my parents didn't know anything was amiss: I was able to climb in and out of my crib on my own, and I could fasten buttons before I was 2 years old. From when I was 4 to about when I started first grade, I would watch the same Transformers movie every day without fail at 4:30 in the afternoon.

I couldn't play with toys. I would set up my plastic army men and my toy firefighters on the floor of my room but then all I could do was sit and stare at them. I couldn't actually play.

I was diagnosed with ADHD in 6th grade, but when I was put on medication for it the side effects were worse than the initial symptoms, so eventually I refused to be medicated. I wasn't diagnosed with autism until the end of my 8th grade year. My parents had a meeting with my english teacher and I got to go home from school early. I got into the car and my dad turned around in the seat to look at me and said "Guess what kid, you have Asperger's." I heard ASS BURGERS. I almost laughed.

I was bullied throughout all of school but I didn't know what it was until high school. I became depressed and in my senior year I tried to kill myself several times. I would also cut, and so I have 22 scars on my arms and legs because I hated myself for having autism. I just wanted to be normal.

I felt like everything I did was unimportant. I was invisible unless someone was laughing at me.

I graduated in June. I am still alive, but also still depressed. Maybe, someday, someone will cure autism, and that will change for me.

Katie Eschelbach
Barre, VT

blessed with two

On 25th march 2012 i became a mother to twins riley and gracie, i felt so lucky to have a beautiful healthy boy weighing 6.01 and a gorgeous healthy girl weighing 4.10 it was the best day if my life.

As the months went by they were complimented by strangers for their bright blue sparking eyes. As they got older riley started to bounce in hes bouncy chair which at the time everyone found really funny as he didnt have a care in the world bouncing away and as gracie grew she took alot on intrest in any objects but had no intrest in toys, to this day she would rather have a multipul of the same style toys e.g balls, blocks ect... and she will pass them over her lap whilst studying them one by one. Riley never liked shopping he would cry the whole way round, i put that down to him being a typical boy not liking shopping.

At a year old i became concerned as they still didnt respond to their names and they wouldnt make eye contact no matter how funny i tried to be making faces and blowing rasberrys they would look straight through me, i see other kids their age doing alot of things like waving and pointing so at the same time as becoming a single parent i took them to a health visitor where she said she was very concerned and she suspects autism but further appointments need to be made. Next we see a pediatrician where it was confirmed they were on the road to diagnoses of ASD, it hit me for a week or two, dealing with a break up and coming to terms with my babies being "different" to other kids, now they are two and a half and i couldnt be prouder, they have their moments and meltdowns but i wouldnt change them for the world ill stand by them and help them reach their full potential and make sure they are always happy in life, were the three musketeers, i wouldnt have it any other way.

laura smith
hertfordshire, United Kingdom

My proud mummy moment


My son has autism and was non verbal

I would love for his you tube clip to give hope and inspiration to those newly diagnosed families of children with autism and those on the therapy ride,,, to see Lucas stand and speak so confidently is very inspirational and I hope it gives strength and a smile to those who need it

Brisbane, Australia

My Amazing Little Man ♡♡♡♡

My son who is 5 and just started kindergarten we actually just found out he was on the spectrum Friday September 5th 2014 even though there are family members who have it I never thought he did he was delayed in talking but he did speech therapy and the speech came along at first he couldn't make full sentences but those two eventually started to come along sometimes he still is unable to make full sentences to get his point across but I just thought it was due to his speech problem...but I was so focused on his speech that I never stopped to pay more attention to the other traits of autism that he had such as the tantrums as well or how emotional he gets when he doesn't get something either very sad or very mad the high pitch noises he makes or the way he covers his ear when normal sounds to us are to loud for him I never noticed until the doctor started asking me questions and going through the appointment assessing him now I'm still shocked because I never thought my son was autistic but I love him none the less and he is very bright and his imagination is incredible I am happy though at least now I can get the proper care for him and I know that I am not alone even though I am kinda nervous and scared this is all new to me

Atlanta, GA
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