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January 2013...our pediatrician recommended that our twins have a developmental evaluation (DE) with a developmental pediatrician. Since our twins were already in early intervention, I contacted our case worker who sent us a list of places we could go for the DE. We scheduled one for Robert in June because it was the only appointment open and Ronan's was going to wait until they opened up scheduling past June. During this time our twins also had recurring double ear infections that weren't going away after 4 different antibiotics. I asked to be referred to an ENT. March 5th 2013 they both had surgery for ear tubes and adenoid removal.

June 5th 2013...a day our family was forever changed. We already knew one of our 2 1/2 year old twin boys was doing things different from his brother. He liked to look at things at weird angles, was more verbal than his twin and liked to hold toys or objects to the point that they interfere with his daily life - he just adapted to holding them and still being able to eat hands free. While at the Developmental Pediatrician's office she said he's 'high risk' and in the same breath threw an autism diagnosis out there and gave us a bunch of paperwork for Autism Resources.

Autism is so under researched and it was a cause very near and dear to my heart prior to my boy being diagnosed. He's also one very smart little guy. He knows the entire alphabet and recognizes every letter by sight which made his eye exam way more bearable. He is now knows and identifies his numbers from Zero to Ten. The amazing part is, he has taught those things to himself. He hates his hands to be touched but makes great eye contact. Haircuts are a nightmare. What I've learned so far from this 'thing called Autism' is that every child diagnosed is so very different. Yes, Robert has some of the 'signs' but some of things he does I attribute to Robert just being Robert!

Sherri Olsen
Plainfield, IL

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