On the 16th of June 2010, after 18 hours of induced labour culminating in an emergency caesarean, a little angel was born.

Apart from a three day stint under ultra violet lights for Jaundice, the first three months of Gabriel’s life were pretty typical.  A content little baby, albeit that dreaded colic!

We noticed a change in Gabriel’s temperament at around 14 weeks of age.  Our content baby became restless, screaming at regular intervals.  Even the pitch of his cry changed.  Suspecting it might be as the result of reflux, his paediatrician prescribed medication for him.  This seemed to help, to a degree.

Being our one and only child, we did not have anything else to compare to and soldiered on.  We continued our regular check-ups with the paediatrician.  At 18 months of age, Gabriel’s doctor commented that our little boy didn’t seem to be making eye contact.  Some milestones were not being reached.  And there was no speech. Not one coherent word; only babbling.  The word Autism was brought into the conversation.  We were advised to wait until his 2 year check-up, before any steps were implemented, just to be sure.

And so life carried on, with extensive research being done on the subject, by ourselves.

Finally, the 2 year check-up date arrived and Gabriel’s doctor was almost certain that our little angel had Autism.

So began the process of finding the right Paediatric Neurologist.  In the interim, Gabriel started Speech and Occupational Therapy and we enrolled our son into a lovely Montessori school.

Finally, at the age of 3 years and 6 months, Gabriel received his official diagnosis of Autism by his Paediatric Neurologist.

The decision was then made to remove Gabriel from his Montessori school, as advised by his Psychologist, due to Gabriel battling to cope in that environment.  He then spent the next 8 months being home-schooled, one-on-one, with a wonderful Facilitator, using a very loosely-based ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis) programme (8 hours a week).

This helped immensely, allowing Gabriel to focus, make a lot more eye contact and to learn.

Gabriel then began to attend a special needs school, especially for children who have autism.  Unfortunately, his sensory issues were too great and we have returned him to his home schooling environment where he now follows a more fun-based, self-designed programme.

What does the future hold for our angel?   Only time will tell.  We wish we could see into Gabriel’s future, but, in the meantime, we strive to fill our little boy’s life with oodles of love, laughter, fun and self-confidence.