By Amy Markoff Johnson on Huffington Post.
Some parents have baby books documenting the early years of their
children's lives. My husband and I have manila file folders with labels
like "Developmental Delays: Tests and Evaluations," "Speech Therapy
Research" and "Early Intervention IFSP." These were the keepsakes we
carefully preserved, our own special needs version of bronzed baby shoes: enough medical evaluations, referrals, notes and diagnostic information to fill half a file drawer. But rather than encasing the
memory of a baby's first faltering steps, they are the record of a
two-year-long journey stumbling toward an autism diagnosis.
Near the front of the drawer, in a folder labeled "Developmental
Delays: Notes," is a sheet of paper with a list of words printed in
black ballpoint pen: Cookie (ka), Stick (ka), Fish (ka), Car (ka), Dark
(ka), Light (ka), Bunny (buh), Book (buh), Banana (buh)... The list of
words goes on, a handful of mysterious single-syllables in parentheses
next to each one. These are the words my son could say when we first
began to worry enough to start taking notes, along with his
pronunciation of each.