Ieasha's Story  February 18, 2011  By Ieasha
My son De' Shaun is 5 years old. My daughter’s grandmother was the first person who told me I should take him to be checked out by a doctor because her grandson has autism too. I didn’t talk to her for months after that. At the same time, I was online looking up everything I could find about autism until I realized I needed to get my son help.

I contacted the Early Steps intervention program, the child psychiatry department and the school board. After that, I made De' Shaun all kinds of doctors’ appointments, and started going to autism support group meetings.

De' Shaun was diagnosed with autism when he was 2 1/2 years old. I didn’t notice anything wrong with him except that he started walking a little late. De' Shaun’s primary care doctor said that nothing was wrong with him, so I changed doctors. His new doctor was in the room for only about three minutes before he told me that my son was showing signs of autism. I then really started studying my son like I was going back to college.

Once he was diagnosed, the doctors told me everything he was not going to be able to do for himself. But I worked with De' Shaun so hard; I bought him everything they used with him at school or in therapy. Now, De' Shaun is talking a lot more; he knows what he wants and asks for it, he feeds himself and he loves to play with other children. De' Shaun knows his ABCs, colors, shapes, some children’s songs and can count from 1–21 (also backwards). He is very smart.

Some children are mean to our children because they don't understand. My daughter is in high school and is working on educating other students who tease or bully special-needs children. Sometimes, she comes home upset because of that and I have to go to the school and meet with the parents to let them know what’s going on. I go to New Orleans Hearing & Speech where De' Shaun has therapy and talk to a lot of the parents who are having a hard time. I am speaking up for all of our children.