I posted this to Facebook last week and wanted to share it here:
The moment my beautiful baby boy was born, I began to notice certain things that were off. He never made eye contact with me when I would feed him, and it always took several times of calling his name before he would look towards us. Other than his sisters and his cousins, he never seemed to want to interact with other kids and he was always always content to play on his own without sharing his toys with us or anyone else. He was constantly lining his toys up… He didn’t ever seem to play other than to line things up in rows. He was late reaching his milestones, and by 9 months he still wasn’t holding his own bottle/cup. It was then that I began to worry…
Fast forward a few months… After many screenings and tests by his doctor, our early intervention program, and specialists at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Sawyer was diagnosed with autism at just 19 months old. He’s a “classic” case of autism: non-verbal, he flaps his hands when he’s excited, he’s fixated on certain things (cars, especially!), and often times seems lost in his own world. However, at 22 months he began a wonderful program through Vanderbilt Kennedy Center called The Tadpole Project, and within just a few weeks we started seeing a massive improvement in his eye contact, social interaction, and appropriate play with toys. Now 3 years old, his speech is coming along, he’s almost completely stopped with his stimming behaviors, and he’s morphing into a little social butterfly!!
Without programs like The Tadpole Project, our little man was almost lost to us. I think about all the parents out there still waiting on diagnosis or help from therapists and my heart breaks because I’ve been there; I know what it’s like to try desperately to interact in a way that your baby will respond to and have no success. That’s why raising money for autism awareness is so important to our family. Autism Speaks funds many different programs that help families like ours with being able to reach their child, and get the help they need. That’s why our family is participating in the #NashvilleTN Autism Speaks Walk, so that we can help raise money to fund more programs like The Tadpole Project.
We would be grateful if you could donate to the cause in Sawyer’s name. Our team page is http://www.autismspeakswalk.org/tennessee/sawyerssoldiers
and every little bit helps!! If we can get 100 people to donate just $10 each, we’ll raise $1000 to help autism families!
Don’t forget that donations are tax deductible, so if you’d like to donate on behalf of your business, you can claim the donation on your tax return for this year as well!
So far we have raised $100, but we would love to raise even more! If you would like to donate, please do. Sawyer- and we- appreciate your support more than we could ever say. ♥