Part 1 Daria and Maksim: THE BEGINNING

Dear Readers,
My name is Daria, and our little miracle is Maksim. Why i call him miracle..? Because he is absolutely amazing and has taught me so much, changed me tremendously and I believe made me a better human being. Our autism story started in 2012. Maksim was born in 2010, he always was a very peaceful, happy and social baby, no concerns at all! Strong, healthy and full of joy. The changes happened later…


Let me make a small break here and also tell you that we are an expat family living in China. Maksim was born in China and raised from his first days until by me. We are cut off from the luxury of having families by our side and help from people who really care and love, so the only option when you decide to go back to work  - is nanny. Unfortunately I went back to work , when Maksim was about 1 year and 9 month old. This is where big change happened… Starting from him not sleeping well anymore. He was such a peaceful and easy child, I never spent time putting him to bed or rocking him away to sleep… This has changed to the point of endless crying and screaming. We referred that to him “adjusting” to a change as he only saw me 2-3 hours after work at this point. Of course my heart was breaking… But I was trying to tell myself it’s temporary. Next his food was affected. He refused to eat with nanny and became very picky about foods which never happened before! Again we didn’t get much concerned as everything else seemed to be fine. Let me also tell you that in China up till now there is not a single therapist, specialist, psychologist that you can consult with such matters. I left the job because it wasn’t a healthy change and we realised he needs me more than we need financial security that the job could offer. 
Later Maksim started his nursery and was really happy there, but in few month the teacher and principal called us for a meeting to tell us that they have few concerns about his behaviour, namely: not enough response to teachers, not enough concentration, unwillingness or lack of interest in playing with kids or joining group activities, etc… They diplomatically told us it looks like it might be autism and we should speak to someone about it. They shared contact of a doctor in Hong Kong (which is 45 min away from us), so we went to consultation. He confirmed it was autism.   We still had doubts or tried not not look at the facts.   Shortly after that we had our holiday in Mumbai and went to Ummeed to have a second opinion. It got confirmed… I was devastated.. Mostly because life in China as an expat is not that easy, taking into consideration culture, language, temporary acquaintances and most importantly no family by your side to ease things or share your load of endless responsibilities. The worsts - no specialists, therapist in this field and total despair from not really understanding how you can help your most precious child, cause at that point I had zero idea what it is and how to approach the matter.   If you ask me, that was the most difficult time with tantrums 5-6 times a day, difficult behaviour, rejection for 2 years from every kindergarten we tried to go to because he was diagnosed with autism and they did not have specialists at the school to provide support.   What happened to our sunshine and constant joy, why did everything change so suddenly? Therapists have an opinion that Maksim could have had lesser symptoms and challenges maybe, less psychological stress and trauma, if he had me 24/7 instead of 3 hours a day which had triggered deeper symptoms. True or not, no one can be sure. But I had to become his mom, his therapist, his teacher and his friend… Understand him enough to become his voice and advocate...  
This is the story of me, Daria and my son Maksim, and this is just the beginning. To read the second part click here 
Love Daria
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Posted in Parenting on August 26 at 04:12 PM

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