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  • Writer's picturecharlotte lister

Autism Awareness Piece by Mrs. Sunrise El Paso Ambassador 2021- Deidra Hernandez

I would like to share awareness about autism and our journey. My name is Deidra Hernandez this years Mrs. Sunrise El Paso ambassador 2021. I myself, have a child who has autism. When my son was born he was the most perfect little boy I'd ever seen. My first born, he was smart, healthy and hitting all his milestones. As soon as he reached the age of 1 years old I noticed something was off. He was starting to regress and wasn't hitting his milestones anymore. One day scrolling through social media I came across a documentary about autism and I remember something in my gut told me to keep educating myself with it because I felt like this was a sign as too what was going on with my child. I looked up on YouTube tale signs my child has autism, and that's when at the age of 1 year and 6 months of my son, I decided to check him out myself before jumping into conclusions. The first sign was trying to interact with my boy and he wouldn't, as hard as I tried it was as if he was in his own world and I was non existent. Then the major clue..... I called out my sons name multiple times to see if he would acknowledge my presence by looking at me..... and nothing. That's when the concerns grew and I went to the doctors cause I knew in my gut he has autism. I went to the doctors made appointments with speech therapists and all and they said not to worry he was fine, that he is just going to hit his milestones at his own pace. Fast forward to 3 years old and still nothing. Finally at the age of 5 I finally got a diagnosis in the state of California. He was finally diagnosed with autism disorder and was high functioning. The relief that came with knowing I was right and knew since he was a year old brought so much relief. So here is my advice, never give up, if your motherly instincts are zooming and you have that gut feeling then listen to it and fight for your child. Autism is a blessing, and my son now almost 10 years old has shown me to look at the world in his perspective. And best of all that uniqueness is beautiful regardless of a disorder. Since I myself have mental illness and disorders such as ADHD, MDD, BIPOLAR DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, and PTSD. Thanks to my son he's shown me that you are not your disorder, you are just unique ❤

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