Autism 101 – Episode 1 :
You have no idea what I would’ve paid for a course called this in 2001.
Let me back up a little bit. We get a lot of questions about Justin and his autism and how he has progressed to the point that he’s at. We have also had people tell us oh, well, he must’ve just had a mild case of autism. That sounds really good and like a great explanation, but I can assure you nothing could be further from the truth.
I’ll take you back to the beginning and I will share the good bad and the ugly. I have also asked Justin if it was OK for me to share these pictures and to share his story and he said yes maybe they will help someone.
Justin was born October 11, 1999. He is the youngest of our five children, Joey is the oldest and he was 11 when Justin was born. Next is John Michael Michael passed away in 2013 at age 17 but that’s a story for another day then there’s Dylan after that was Jace and then Justin. Jace and Justin are only 13 months apart, Irish twins . They have always been very close at first I did not realize that Justin had any issues.
His dad John is very quiet and we thought Justin was a lot like his dad. The boys attended a daycare called super kids and the owner brought it to our attention that Justin may have some issues. By the time he was three years old, it was very evident with meltdowns and serious developmental delays. He also had asthma, a serious skin condition and many food allergies.
We never knew from day to day what would trigger a meltdown and there were not many resources or people to ask.
The first doctor that diagnosed Justin told us that he was mentally retarded, would never have speech, and would need to be in an institution by the age of 10. I remember crying the entire way home and telling my husband that the only institution he was going to go to was the University of Georgia, and that I would find a way to make this better. Keep in mind this doctor was a friend of mine and was just trying to tell me the reality of the situation.
We believe your reality is what you make it… so we began that day checking out library books (not much on the internet back then) talking to different doctors, health professionals, & anyone we could find that would talk to us about Autism. We tried every alternative out there.
We never had Justin on medicine for his autism only on Singulair for his allergies. We used a chiropractor, a massage therapist, a feng shui specialist and would’ve probably went to the local witch doctor if I thought it would’ve helped. The first hour after the doctor told me his test results was probably one of the hardest hours of my life.
Hopefully through Autism 101. I will be able to share some things with you that we did for Justin that made a big difference in his world. Please just know that there is a light at the end of the autism tunnel. It shines through your child’s eyes every day.
I know it is a hard road. I also know it doesn’t seem very fair for you or your child hopefully this blog series will help you and your child. Your child may have autism but autism doesn’t have to have them.
My youngest of 5 boys is autistic he’s only 2.5 yrs old there’s days I don’t handle it very well I cry at times for him. Thank you for sharing your story with the amazing Chef Justin.