Our Autism Journey

It took me one year to talk openly about my son’s Autism diagnosis. I decided to share our story, unfiltered, on his birthday this year. I wanted to celebrate him and every piece of who he is. This is our story, through my lens.

William was my first child. He spoke at 11 months; he was an affectionate baby. He hit all his milestones on or before schedule. He was and still is the happiest kid I’ve ever met. He’d look at me and smile. A smile that melted me. We had and still have an amazing connection.

He was incredibly hyper. I’d take him to a music class, or the park, and he was the kid who was always running out of the circle, exploring things other kids weren’t into.  At the park he preferred to be by the trees, plants, flowers or in the dirt as opposed to the actual playground. He was always pointing and talking about things around him, overly curious. Even though he was a talker, he wasn’t talking on point.

I chalked it up to him being a boy. Hyperactivity.

I have a Master’s degree in this. There was nothing glaringly wrong. But on numerous occasions my gut said something was “off”. To this day I can not pinpoint what was “off” but I felt it. His paediatrician assured me he was like every other kid. I decided to get him evaluated anyway.

The neuropsychologist came to our home and my life changed that day. To be clear, I wouldn’t change any of it. I truly believe

I have the most beautiful son. Yes, he is Autistic. Sure, he is hyperactive. He throws tantrums. He can be repetitive. He struggles regulating himself. He is also 4 years old. My son has Autism but he also has friends. He is kind. He laughs. He is happy. He is the most beautiful soul I have ever met. He is more than I could have ever dreamed of.

We are still navigating our way along this journey. We have cried. We have been angry. We have laughed. I don’t think there is anything that can prepare you as a parent for the type of ride we are on. We are learning everyday.

William is making strides. He’s in pre-k with support and related services. He gets ABA therapy at home. People may wonder what our goal is.

We are not trying to change him. We love who he is. Our goal is to make life a little easier for him by giving him tools to communicate, ways to manage his feelings and most importantly to have him understand that being atypical is not a bad thing at all. In fact, it is pretty spectacular.

Author, Lisa Nargi MSN, FNP-BC

Lisa is an accomplished Double Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner working in New York City. Her focus is primary care with an emphasis on disease prevention and management as well as mental health. In addition, she is a Professor of Psychology teaching various courses for the City University of New York. Her mantra is “I am a mother first, and foremost.” She spends her free time with her family, which includes her husband; Alex, two children; William (4) and Gemma, (16 months) and her mini dachshund, Monkey. Lisa was a former fashion model and was represented by various top agencies. She is most known for her winning role as model to famed designer Christian Siriano on Project Runway.

Follow Lisa on Instagram @mrslisageorge