When Georgia and Nick’s son Lincoln was a year and a half, he was ahead in his speech, and in lots of different ways, he was a smart kid doing really well. The older he got, he started showing signs of Autism. He lost more and more speech and stopped interacting with his loved ones. He began showing sensory issues, like having a hard time being out in public, which are all signs of being on the spectrum.
“I didn’t really want face that he was showing signs of Autism, but I just didn’t have a choice. When he was two years old, we were at Nick’s family’s house. Lincoln’s first word was ball, and I remember saying, “Come get the ball! Come get the ball!” and he couldn’t say the word ball. That was the moment when I knew something was up and that he had lost so much speech that he couldn’t say that word anymore. That’s when I knew I had to get him checked out, and it was shortly after that when we had him diagnosed.
At first it was just getting to understand that even though I knew my kid, I felt like I didn’t know my kid. After that diagnosis, I didn’t know what to do. For me, the challenge in the beginning was knowing what to do to help him, because I had no idea. We went to early intervention, I absorbed as much material as I could; I got every book I could get, and I had wonderful neighbors who had kids on the spectrum who guided me as to some of the things that I should do. I really just consumed information. I started doing floor time therapy with him two-to-three hours every day. For a kid who doesn’t want to play and interact with you, it’s a little bit tricky. In the beginning, what was so hard was trying to figure out the right therapy. Then this miracle happened, and the state of Utah started a lottery to cover behavioral therapy for kids on the spectrum because they hadn’t covered Autism on insurance before. They decided to do this lottery, and my son was a winner; he won the lottery! We got free therapy after that, and it made a huge difference. He’s really not the same kid. He was low-functioning and had stopped talking almost entirely. He’d say mom and dad, but other than that, he stopped talking and was retreating into his own world. Now, however, most people can’t even tell he’s on the spectrum. The therapy has done so much. He has got his own little quirks, but every child does, and I love him and those quirks about him. In fact, in some ways, I feel like he’s an easier kid than my other children because he’s so predictable. He’s honest and has such a good heart; he’s an amazing kid, and I wouldn’t change him.”