"So that’s that.” I thought as I hung up the phone with the doctor. She had just informed me that my “neurotypical” child, my youngest son, Eli was also on the spectrum. His older brother, Owen was diagnosed with autism shortly after Eli was born. This shouldn’t have come as a big surprise because I know the large part genetics plays in autism and I’ve been watching Eli for red flags since birth. He first began showing signs of autism at four months old. However, as his language took off, along with his ability to follow one and two step directions and engage socially with his peers, I dared to believe that he was neurotypical. Even then, my thoughts constantly bounced between “Is he?” and “Isn’t he?” Still, hearing the words out loud came as a surprise and they stung a little.
This Christmas there were many firsts for our family. The first time the boys met Santa and the contagious excitement that follows. The first time they helped decorate the tree. The first time they went shopping, picked out and wrapped gifts for Mommy and Daddy. It’s also the first time that we ran out of money BEFORE all of the gifts were purchased. Ahem, like I said all kinds of firsts.