Our son Quinn was diagnosed with Autism in April 2021 at 27 months of age. When Quinn turned 1 we had a few concerns with how he was developing. He wasn't hitting any of his regular milestones, he had zero words, he rarely sought out affection if he was hurting or sad, he had little to no eye contact and had his own ways of playing with toys instead of playing with a toy the way it should be. We went to our family doctor who referred us to a developmental pediatrician to address the concerns we were having. It took about 8 months before we managed to get an appointment for Quinn to have a proper assessment. Because of COVID we met virtually with the doctor as well as a speech and language pathologist and after two meetings and an assessment we received Quinn's diagnosis. Although we were prepared to hear, it was not easy news to take in. We struggled, we were sad, we were angry, so many emotions came over us. There were so many questions and so many things we had to figure out and where to start and who to ask. Thankfully, I was able to connect with the service navigation team at Autism Ontario who got me off on the right foot for this lifelong journey with Quinn. They helped me right from the beginning with what I needed to do, who I needed to contact, what forms I needed to fill out and where I could find all different types of information. It's now been almost two years since Quinn was diagnosed and although I am no expert, I have learned so much about Autism and have been able to connect with other parents who have been through similar experiences. The endless amount of resources, support groups, virtual seminars and coffee chats to name a few have truly benefited me so much over these last two years.
We will be waiting for funding for more services for years due to the overwhelming wait list and number of children in the province with Autism. I'm thankful for Autism Ontario that can continue to provide assistance to our family during this lengthy waiting time.
Quinn is an amazing kid with the most infectious laugh and true determination. He's an energetic 4 year old who loves the outdoors and has become quite the little basketball player. He loves going for car rides & especially enjoys calling out every truck or bus he sees on the road. We are so proud of how far he has come and how he surprises us with something new each day. We will continue to work hard to support his development and get him all the help he needs and deserves. This April will be the 2nd Annual Running for Awareness 27 hour run. I will be running 2.7km every hour for 27 hours starting Saturday April 1st and will finish on World Autism Day, to raise funds and help spread awareness for Autism. Thank you for your continued support.
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