Autism from a mama who has been there. I am going to try to post every day this month. Please feel free to ask questions in the comments.
Denial (and not the river in Egypt):
Oh, it's real. Here are just a few of the things I said: "It's just a phase." "All kids are different." "He's just sensitive." "The older kids smother him." "He was such a good baby." "There can't be anything wrong he is way too smart."
If you suspect something is wrong or even just a little bit off, get your child tested. If people you trust mention concerns, get your child tested. If you are making excuses, get your child tested. Earlier diagnosis equals early treatment.
I didn't want to hear; the older kids' teachers, my friends, the pediatrician, and my own heart were telling me that something was wrong with my son. But, I couldn't admit it until my baby passed him developmentally when she was four months old. Yep, that's when it hit me. My beautiful boy had a problem. And that was okay; nothing was going to change my love for him.
It didn't take too long to get a diagnosis. Remember, this was over 25 years ago. Science was just moving past the "refrigerator mother" idea. We had to go to the library for information. Fortunately, we were where we needed to be to get the help we needed for him and our family.
Autism is a family disability. It affects everyone, and each person needs education and tools. The whole needs to be on the same page, keeping things consistent and positive. The more people you have helping you knock down the isolating wall of autism, the more successful you will be.
Your child is in there; their sibling, grandchild, aunt, or uncle, cousin, is in there. And we all love and want to have a relationship with this amazing Child of God.
Celebrate the small stuff. Be flexible. Laugh.