Believing In Your Gut: A Pam Kozelka Post

Following the post about Joshua and his chairs,  I’ve had a lot of people reach out to me privately to ask for other signs of Autism that I may have seen in Joshua. Generally people are asking because they have concerns about their own children and they are looking for something concrete to help them decide if their child needs help.

From my experience, and from talking with other parents, there often isn’t a specific thing that all of a sudden jumps out at you and says, yes your child needs help.  I believe in your gut – and if your gut tells you that something is off or your child is delayed – then go with your gut – it can’t hurt!

There are however, things that looking back, I realize we missed. For example, Joshua’s ability to focus on a single toy (his beloved bee!) for an hour at a time seemed great when he was little, but knowing what I know now was definitely a sign.

Joshua’s complete disinterest in other children is also definitely a sign. From playgroups to preschool, a normal three-year-old should have curiosity about their peers. Joshua was neither rude nor uncomfortable; he just didn’t pay any attention to them.

Finally the speech….  I have written before about how I made every excuse for my son.  That he was the oldest, that he didn’t need to ask for anything because we gave him everything, that he was a boy.  But looking at the chart, Joshua didn’t hit one speech milestone.  Not one.

Most people know the symptoms of the flu.  Fever, aches, chills, etc. But you don’t have to have all the symptoms to have the flu.  That said – there were symptoms that Joshua did not have for Autism.  For example, he LOVED to cuddle. He would also smile and have appropriate expressions for happiness or frustration.  As a Mom these things helped me embrace my denial.  But we know that just because we don’t have all the symptoms of something doesn’t mean we don’t have it.

So is this post helpful at all?  I am not sure, because the things you see in your child are going to be different than everyone else.  No two kids with Autism are alike.  If you see any of the signs just remember early intervention is the key.  Not only the key for getting answers, but the key to your child having 100% success.

Pam is the Executive Director of the Orange Effect Foundation. She worked in the marketing field for the past 10 years, serving as Chief Operations Officer for Content Marketing Institute. During that time she found her passion to build and lead amazing teams because of the commitment of the staff at CMI. Pam also helped to create Content Marketing World, an event where over 3500 marketers come together annually to learn and network with the best and brightest. Pam's background is in social work, and she is raising a son with autism so the opportunity to start and direct this nonprofit is a dream come true. She has been a key leader in the CMI Golf for Autism the past 11 years and a champion for many other nonprofit organizations.