By ANTHONY MIRANTI
MY wife Intan had noticed for many months that our two-year-old was not developing normally. For me, I was not in a state of denial; I just did not recognise that anything was wrong. Intan was worried that our boy did not seem to understand any language, was unable or unwilling to look at a person’s face, and played with toys by lining them up or by spinning their wheels. She fretted that our son was not bonding with any of us, and that he screamed uncontrollably for hours over noises or situations he could not control.
During those early days, the predominant feelings we had were fear and helplessness. We feared for his future, and we felt helpless, not knowing what to do. To my wife’s credit, instead of running away from reality, she faced it head-on. “I was heart-broken but I got down to work,” said Intan. She talked to other parents, read books and research articles, explored interventions, signed up for training and joined autism online discussion groups.