Make The First 5 Years Of Life Count For Your Child

This is a post in the weekly Autism Hopes series by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez, a mom who blogs  over at AutismWonderland.

My son, Norrin, was about 16-months old when I first suspected that something may be…wrong. I remember asking my husband – he dismissed my concerns. Experienced mom friends told me I was just being a “new mom.” My mother told me I was reading too many books. And my pediatrician suggested we wait and see.

So that’s what I did. I waited. I listened to everyone else instead of going with my gut instinct.

But I knew. I knew as soon as I took Norrin in for that fist evaluation. I knew when I started flipping through Norrin’s milestone calendar. It was practically empty. I wasn’t too busy to fill it out, he hadn’t met most of the milestones of a typically developing child. I knew – before the doctor even diagnosed him – that Norrin had autism.

When Norrin was diagnosed he was 2-years and 3 months old. He had the cognitive level of a 14-month-old and the language level of a 7-month-old. And as I read through the 20-page evaluation, all I thought about was all the months I wasted by waiting.

Ever since Norrin was diagnosed, I’ve gotten emails or calls from concerned moms – asking about the signs of autism or whether they should have their child evaluated. And I always say the same thing: If you have any concerns, GO. Don’t wait. It’s better to go and be wrong about your concerns, than wait and be right.

With the support of CVS Caremark Charitable Trust , Easter Seals is providing access to the Ages & Stages Questionnaires® (ASQ) —a FREE screening tool. If  you have concerns about your child, you can answer the questions to monitor his/her developmental progress.

As the largest provider of early intervention services, Easter Seals knows what’s possible when kids get the support they need… and what happens when they don’t. We can give every child an equal opportunity to learn and grow— but it’s important to get kids the help they need in the critical years before they turn five.

The questionnaire takes less than 20 minutes to fill out. Don’t wait. If you have a concern, fill it out today. The questionnaire is available in English and Spanish.

I love Norrin, I am not sorry that my son has autism. The only thing I am sorry about is that I waited to get him the help he needed. Don’t make the same mistake I did.


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