Concerned About Unconventional Mental Health Interventions?

Concerned About Unconventional Mental Health Interventions?
Alternative Psychotherapies: Evaluating Unconventional Mental Health Treatments

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A Mother Tells It Better Than I Can (About Those Autism Fears)



Every now and then I get a comment that I think really
 needs to be read by a lot of people, so although this 
and  some other comments by this mother and  by me 
are posted  at https://childmyths.blogspot.com/2016/02/
eye-contact-with-babies-part-2.html, I want to put her
 important remarks out where it's easier for people to
 see them. If you are worried  about developmental
 problems,please read what she has to say 
about "milestones" and about mood disorders.

Please forgive the slightly cut-off word endings-- when
 I moved this here from my gmail account it seems to
 have established a format that I can't correct.



"First, I am specifically writing to tell you thank you
for your work to help parents feel less burdened by
 the weight of our own anxieties, often brought about
 by what we don't know, and what the  internet tells us
 when we google our fears at 3am.
 I was just that new mama! My daughter who will be
 20 weeks this Friday, and is the absolute joy of my life,
 has blossomed over the past month. Before this, I was
 sick with worry that she had autism or any other number
 of developmental delays as many parents in your comment
 sections also worry about. I was so busy comparing her 
to other babies her age. A friend of mine oncetold me,
 "Comparison is the thief of joy." This was profoundly true
 for me. I could not fully enjoy my daughter just the way 
she was. And what she was, and is, is a little girl who
 has developed  and met milestones in her own time.

She would give a passing glance around 11 weeks, but
 even then I had to really work for it and it was only 
if you were a certain distance from her face. She gave
 her first smile around this time as well, but again, I had
 to REALLY work for it. She seemed rather disengaged
 and not very interested in socializing. She also would
 not bat at or grasp at toys, she actually ignored them
 even when held right in her line of sight. She seemed to
 be at a standstill in making progress in this area until
 week 16 when she really blossomed. She began making
 eye contact very effectively, started smiling on 
her own without me making an effort to get her to do so. 
She found her first chuckle at 17 weeks and her first belly 
laugh at 18 weeks. She discovered her hands around week
 17 as well and now  grasps at and bats at her toys to her
 great amusement. I'm detailing this to show that it really
 can take our little ones time to learn how to socialize and
 learn. She, I believe, chose to observe and absorb her
 new world as long as she needed to (which was longer
 than every  development milestone book/blog/website ect.,
 listed it should
 take) before she was really to actively engage in it. 

Additionally, I, like some of your readers, struggled with
post-partum anxiety. My daughter’s pediatrician referred me to 
get help, which I did. Incidentally, once I had begun taking
 anxiety medication and seeing  a therapist and started feeling
 considerably better, my daughter also
 began to blossom. Whether my emotions had an effect on her
 or not,
 I'm not sure, but I think it's worth being aware of.

Anyhow, thanks again for your blog! I actually found it
while I was googling "8 week old not making eye contact" 
and came across several  “red flags about autism” sites and
 forums full of anxious moms worrying  about the same thing.
 One mom posted a link to your blog and how
 much it helped to relieve her excessive worry and I'm forever
 grateful
 to have found you through her!"



As I mentioned above, we had a further discussion in the
 comments at the link given above. (I don't seem to be able
 to move her other comments
 here, for some reason, but do look at them--I think many
 people will find 
them helpful.)