It was the mid night of December 2015 when I noticed something wrong with my 2 year old, Max. He used to stay up till late singing rhymes and alphabets all the time.
As a parent, I ignored this with a thought that there cannot be anything wrong with my child. My elder Son grew up perfectly fine. He started talking at the age of 2 and exceeds expectations in his school activities. How can my 2nd Son be any different?
Two months later, I was talking to a friend over the phone while Max was sitting next to me with his iPad. The friend asked me about Max and asked if she could talk to him.
As always, Max showed no interest. I jokingly told my friend that he won't bother even if there is a huge earthquake. He is so focussed with his alphabets & rhymes on his iPad.
My friend immediately asked if I can talk over video chat and I obliged. She tried to grab Max's attention but he did not look at her. The friend asked me to show Max to a Doctor asap. She felt something might be wrong with him and theres no harm talking to a Doctor about this.
We took Max to a Doctor and it all started. The Doctor immediately told us that Max is in the spectrum and we need to work on this asap.
We were in a state of shock as none of our family members or relatives have autism. We started wondering as to what might have caused this.
The Doctor always kept telling us that there is no known cause for this and we haven't done anything wrong.
Me and my Husband did lots of research on the Internet and tried everything we could. From therapies to change in diets.. we tried everything! These things made bit of changes but nothing major.
This year, Max started attending Kinder. My husband noticed a very positive thing. Max attends Kinder 3 days in a week and my husband told me that he behaves lot better during these days.
Even I started noticing the same thing and we spoke about it to the Doctor. Nothing great.. we came to a conclusion that he might feel good about being and Kinder and he brings that good mood home.
I started looking very closely at my Son and I could notice changes in him on certain days.
One day, we decided that there will be no screen usage in the house. We knew it will be difficult but we made this choice after an article made rounds on social media. It talked about dangers of children using tablets and phones.
The article said that even people like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates restrict their children from using these gadgets.
I am not saying that this is a cure for autism. But, we started seeing lots of changes in Max.
Yes, we do have tough times when he gets very aggressive wanting to watch his videos. But, those "tough times" dont last for more than 10-15 minutes.
After that, we can see him getting involved in other activities. He now plays with his toys which he never did. The best thing that we noticed that he is an amazing artist.
He is very good at coloring and sketching. Another good thing that we noticed is that he is excellent at playing soccer.
As parents, we make our life easy by handing over a gadget to our little ones. With experience, I can surely say that these are very dangerous. Maybe science has not proved it yet but if you can, please do keep kids away from these dangerous things.
After taking this step, we feel that even my elder Son has come closer to us. He talks to us more and comes to us with problems. Both he and Max play soccer and read books together. Its amazing to see them play together now.
If you have kids who are hooked on to these devices, I recommend doing a test. It might be a bit difficult initially but I am sure you will be amazed to see a different child.