I try not to, but there are some times when I think there could have been something else I should have done to help K. For way too long we thought he was just severely developmentally delayed because of his Down Syndrome. If I had known sooner that he had Autism as well, would things be different? If I has insisted sooner that something else was wrong, would we have got more help? I will never know for sure but with the way he has been progressing over the last few weeks I can’t help but feel this way.
We have got some good advice and bad advice over the years. One “professional” told us not to teach him sign language. I wish we had. All of us could have learned it to “speak” with him. But she told us it would be like teaching one child Spanish while the rest of us speak English. Now I think she was full of it. We don’t work with her anymore. When K was born we looked into early childhood programs for him. We chose one through word of mouth, and they were great…until he turned 5 then he was cut off. They never referred us to anyone else so K fell through the cracks for a few years before he finally started school. We finally have him in the proper programs and waiting lists, but why did it take so long? I try not to blame myself. I was just trying to follow the proper advice. But as a parent I feel I should have stood up for him more, looked into things more, found more programs, anything. I am so proud of all the parents I talk to and tweet with that stood up for the needs of their children no matter what! But when you have a dual diagnosis it’s hard to know what aspects are from one and which are from the other. Perhaps his Autism would have hindered him from learning the sign language, it’s just something I will never know for sure. What I do know is that now, we are on the RIGHT track!