My first redhead was born on December 6th, 2003, and was placed on oxygen for 9 hours to clear her lungs after having meconium in the womb. She otherwise seemed very healthy and normal, and of course beautiful! She was a good eater and sleeper, and hardly ever cried.
I began to notice that she liked to
wiggle her hands and feet a lot, and stiffen her legs and jaw spontaneously. She
hated to be on her tummy, and didn't smile as much as we thought she should. She
sat up around 9 months old, crawled at almost 12 months, and both these gross
motor milestones were a challenge for her. We literally had to put our hands
over her arms and legs to teach her how to crawl. She said a few words before 12
months, but started shaking her head and flapping her arms as well.
day my neighbor knocked on my door when J-babe was just 16 months old and told
me, "I think your daughter has autism." She was a speech therapist and worked
with preschoolers on the spectrum. I can't even describe the feelings that went
through me at that moment. She sat down with me and explained the symptoms she
had observed, and I cried, for a long time, and this neighbor I barely even knew
just put her arms around me and told me it wasn't my fault, and that everything
would be okay. After she left, I did a ton of research, and felt strongly that
it wasn't autism. She could TALK. She knew animal sounds! But what this neighbor
did was open the door for me to admitting that something just wasn't right about
my little girl, and since then it has been a journey for me, figuring out her
diagnosis, getting the right therapies, placing her in the right school
programs, the list goes on and on. I will be sharing more about how this little
J-babe has developed into the lovely young lady she is today.
Posts about Julianna: go here.