When Sebastian was born he was one of my easiest babies out of all seven. He slept and ate just fine. He smiled and was happy, but was delayed in walking and talking. He did not walk until he was 3 years old. I talked to the pedestrians but they did not show much concern. He seemed to be doing fine and I thought maybe I was just being over concerned. He was my 5th child and each one was a little different from the other. When he did start to walk he really never did crawl or walk for that matter, but run and run and run, almost like he was trying to run away from something and I was running after him. Thank God I had 4 other kids to help me run after him too. Going to the mall and grocery store was always a struggle too because he would be running there too, I couldn’t keep him by me for a minute.
He did stop to play and then he would play and play and play for hours. For a long time I thought he just loved toys and it gave me a break to enjoy him instead of running after him. When he got to be 2 or 3 years old he would only play with one type of toy and that toy would entertain him for days and sometimes weeks. I remember him playing only with Imaginext by Fisher-Price for two or three months setting it all up and then setting it up again. Then suddenly he would move on to another toy and do the same thing. He did not talk until he was almost 4 years old but would point at what he needed. The doctors said he was spoiled because he had so many brothers and sisters to help him and he did not feel the need to talk. They diagnosed him with ADHD and told me it was a good thing I was homeschooling him because he would not need medicine.
We went to Disney World shortly after this diagnoses and stayed at the Marriot World Center. If you have ever been to this resort the lobby opens up several floors and you can see the rooms and hallways above. It is a beautiful hotel and great place to stay, but not for Sebastian. As soon as we entered the hotel lobby he ran. Disney World was no better I thought I would loose him and I did have a little backpack that he wore attached with a leash. I thought it was a good idea but most people shook their heads at me in disgust, not understanding the fear I had of loosing him in the crowds. When we would go back to the hotel it was worse because as soon as we entered the lobby he would run.
I actually left Disney 2 days early and checked out of the hotel at 3 in morning and drove home exhausted and in despair! I knew it had to be more than ADHD. It suddenly dawned on me that Sebastian could not stand noise and that was what he was running from. The stores are loud the football games are loud and the Marroit World Center hotel lobby echoed with noise of people and commotion. I felt like we were all living in a nightmare and Sebastian was in the middle of it. When I got home I was determined to figure out what was wrong with him. I got on the computer and googled all of his symptoms. When I read on autism I knew Sebastian had a lot of the characteristics of high functioning autism. At that moment I felt relief because now I could help him. I was scared but I figured if Albert Einstein had this we would someday be ok. With lots of love, patience and understanding, Sebastian has out grown many of his earlier symptoms. He has learned to compensate on his own for things that bother him. Who knows what Sebastian will grow up and be but I can be certain it will be something great!
Tamara, Founder OGP