Hi, My name is Ethan, and I am 4 years old.
I am usually a happy and hyper boy. But, if you look, you will see that I’m a little different. But, that’s OK. When I was an Infant, I met all milestones on time, and then around 15 months something happened. I lost all speech that I currently had, and then began to bang my head, rock, have tantrums, and outburst as well as limited eye contact, and social play. My parents weren’t sure what had happened, just that something wasn’t quite right. I had been referred to several specialists, and had my adenoids removed in an attempt to decrease the rocking. My parents now know I rock because I seek deep pressure. This was a difficult time, until October of 2008, when I was referred to Grandview Children’s Centre; because of them my life has changed drastically.
Grandview has been a big part of my Family, as both my older brothers have received services from Grandview Children’s Centre for speech. My original assessment included a Developmental Pediatrician as well as a Speech-Language Pathologist. It was a very long and difficult day for me, I was extremely upset, refused comfort from my parents, and removed my self from the situation by hiding beneath a desk and rocking. I wouldn’t answer when my name was called, or even register that anyone else was with me in the room. I guess you can say that. “I was in my own little world.”
Once the appointment came to an end. Dr. Hunt, provided my parents with a diagnosis. I have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Or otherwise known as Autism, in my case, Severe, due to my behavioural symptoms. Dr. Hunt provided my parents with some information and goals to work on, they were pretend play, and eye contact. I guess you could say that this was the beginning of my journey.
Grandview provided my Family with a Social Worker, who came to the house and provided us with listings of resources for services that could help me and my family, and a binder to keep all my Assessments in. I now have 2 binders on the go. There are a lot of support programs out there, but, all of them come with a wait list. That’s why these programs need support from others. So, children like me, can get the support we need. But, before that can happen, I wanted to share my story to get the awareness about Autism out there.
Since the time of my diagnosis, I have made great leaps and bounds. I attend Pre-School programs twice a week through Oshawa Community Health Centre. This program has allowed me to take part in structured class setting, social development and learning skills, that will help me prepare for my transition to school, which I start this September. I am currently on my second block session for Speech Language Pathology at Grandview, and now have 50-100 words in my vocabulary. Grandview has also provided my parents with workshops like “More then words,” and a night session, “All about Autism” with Dr. Hunt, which my Mom highly recommends to other parents.
I am a very lucky little boy. I have many people in my life that support all my efforts, and accept me for who I am. I truly believe that I wouldn’t have been able to succeed as I have if it weren’t for my Family, and the support of Grandview Children’s Centre. Everyone has been amazing on this quest, and I want to thank them. But, again, I can’t stress enough about knowledge and much needed funding. After all I am the Future, and we need all the support we can get to grow and be successful.
One day I hope I have made a difference.
I want to thank my mom for helping me write my story and thank you for reading it!