Boy, boy, girl, boy, boy girl – the perfect arrangement of my sweet kiddos. Luke is boy number three in that arrangement. He was the answer to many prayers for another child after a second trimester miscarriage. I distinctly remember telling God that I would be ok with twins, if he wanted to send my last two together.
Well, apparently He has a sense of humor. I did not give birth to twins, but I did have Luke. He was a fighter from day one, a knot in the cord tightened in delivery and cut off his oxygen. He had to be resuscitated immediately after delivery, but did not seem to have any lasting effects from his traumatic entry into the world. Nurses in the NICU quickly deemed him, “Lucky Luke.” Everything seemed right in my world; Luke grew and developed normally.
My first inclination that Luke was different came shortly before he turned two when I couldn’t get him to laugh at my rendition of,”This Little Piggy.” As I know I am a very funny girl, it struck me as odd that my son did not share my amazing sense of humor, but I blew it off. A few months later, I noticed that he wasn’t calling me, “Mom,” any more, and he had taken to tugging me to tell me what he wanted.
By this time, I was concerned and visited his pediatrician who confidently assured me that boys just develop speech more slowly than girls, and he really wasn’t that far behind. Reassured that my kiddo was fine, we went about life. Three months later, Luke stopped talking entirely, screamed uncontrollably all night long, and banged his head on tile floor. We watched helplessly as the spirit we had known as Luke was sucked away, replaced by what appeared to be some type of rabid, uncontrollable beast. And our journey with autism began……