~ Trey’s first year of life seemed quite remarkably neurotypical. In fact, he was the most gregarious infant I had ever met and many people commented the same way. Our Christmas card that year showed 9-month old Trey with an uncanny, exuberant ear-to-ear grin. Considering his older brother Evan had already been diagnosed with autism, we had been watching Trey’s development under a proverbial microscope. As a result, when he also regressed into autism shortly after his first birthday we were quite taken aback and grieved for a long time the fact that we would never raise a truly neurotypical child afterall.
But the grieving didn’t last forever. In fact, his Dad and I, like so many of the parents we know who have children on the spectrum, are quite a determined couple. We began turning over every stone in an effort to help our children. Thankfully Trey started to respond, albeit very slowly and steadily, to our many interventions.
~ Today Trey has emerged from his nonverbal state of autism to a place where he’s speaking in 3-4 word phrases, is reading above grade level, has amazing imaginary play skills, is part of an integrated classroom and has resumed his gregarious, silly, slap-stick humor-loving version of himself. His smile and laugh are so contagious that therapists and volunteers in our home program all vie for the opportunity to work with Trey. Is Trey recovering? You bet. Right now does Trey still have autism? You bet. But after years of watching him exist like a ghost in the room we are now witnessing him come alive again with amazing exuberance. It’s like a dream come true! And the dream continues manifesting more fully every day!
~ Trey continues to work hard to improve his communication ability and to cope with things that don’t work out as he predicted or hoped. We lovingly support him on that journey and applaud all his efforts with enthusiasm. If there were awards given out for the most persistent child with autism, Trey might win first place. It is definitely one of his greatest strengths, although I can attest as his mom there are moments where it makes boundary setting an exhausting adventure. But that same persistency, combined with our efforts, is what has been leading Trey out of his isolated little world and more fully into ours. And our world is a much better place with Trey participating in it, no doubt about it!
~Dawnmarie & Brian (parents to Trey)