Once upon a Saturday morning.
I can not pin-point the day or time exactly when I started to suspect that things were slightly a-miss, but very early on in Ryan's life I began to realise he was different somehow. Something was not quite right. I started to make notes in his red 'Personal Child Health Record' (PCHR) that is every new mum's Bible. Ryan's Development 'Firsts': Lifts head clear of ground - 16 weeks. Rolls over - 5 1/2 months. Sits with support - 5 1/2 months. Sits alone - 7 months. Crawled - 7 months. Stands holding on - 8 1/2 months. Walks holding on - 9 1/2 months. Walking confidently - 13 months.
All seems spot on so far, I didn't present any worries at his 6-9 month check although the health visitor did comment he took a long time to get through the hearing test. At his 2 year review I was worried! I commented in his PCHR "Very violent episodes - kicking and hitting, not during tantrum. Totally unprovoked. He seemed also to have his own little language. I can understand him, just, but no-one else could, not even his dad. The advice I was given on this occasion was to not worry, he is probably just a late developer.
By his 3 and a half year check I was really concerned. He was very clumsy, had several falls, cuts, hospital visits, was (and still is) a very sickly child, not potty trained and still not speaking. Wouldn't speak at all to health visitor who again assured me he was just a late developer. His height and weight were consistently below average but I was told (yes, actually told) to stop being neurotic and attention seeking.
I was called neurotic and attention seeking on many more occasions to come too.
This is our story of Ryan's journey of Autism and ultimately Cancer. Welcome to the ride of our lives.