A few days after Lizzie's 2nd birthday, she was diagnosed with moderate autism. We were told with intensive ABA (they recommended 40 hours a week!), speech and OT (occupational therapy) that there was hope for progress, and that she would hopefully move to the more mild end of the spectrum.
People always ask me when I knew something was different, and it is hard to say exactly when. With a family of extroverts, I was excited to finally have what I thought was an introvert. Looking back at her baby album, I see comments that were red flags even as early as 4 months. For example, "It's so cute how Lizzie flaps her arms when she gets excited!" Or at 6 months, "Lizzie sits for hours just paging through books". At 9 months, she would crawl around after Andy, and it was like one day she just stopped looking up. She would run into walls, and we thought it was hilarious. At her 1st birthday party, I remember thinking that I knew she wouldn't enjoy all the people being there. By her 2nd birthday, I had to put a really cool teapot on her cake just to make her sit there for her birthday song. It has been really interesting to me to go back and listen to the unknowing comments that Greg and I made about Lizzie's behavior on the earlier videos.
By 18 months, we started her in speech with ECI (Early Childhood Intervention). We began a more intensive program shortly after she was diagnosed.