I've been reading a lot of forums from other families with autistic kids lately and a common thing is the 18 month old needles... that their kids were bright, blooming and blossoming, learning to talk, socially interacting, some even have video of it, before the needles and then afterwards, they are... not. (I even remember Jono waving goodbye to people of his own accord at 10 months.. I also remember at 14 months seeing he was 'different')
Now I've been firm in my individual belief that it's genetic, whether the needles accelerate the traits or not.. I don't know; but the other night I was astounded. We were as a family sitting and watching some videos of the kids - it started as me and Sarah watching a bit of Mummy and Daddy's wedding, and then we all came to watch.
In amongst the videos was some footage of Jono at 3 months old in a bouncer, I'm clicking my fingers and calling his name and trying to get him to respond so I can film him - as all parents do with kids that age I am sure :)... and there is a moment, just before he caught the camera and smiled the biggest cheesiest grin.
This moment, and it's really brief, is of him looking from the corner of his eyes. He does it a lot these days, it's as though he is looking at you safely.. if he doesn't look at you or the object directly, then you don't know he is looking at you, and he can decide if it's safe/he wants to get involved... and he still takes everything in.
So I see this moment, of his corner looking at the camera, then he lets out this big grin... at the age of 3 MONTHS! Corner looking (for want of another term) from that age! I didn't notice it before, and sometimes you only see things in hindsight, but this helps me so much with the idea that the 18 month needles had something to do with it.. because from this, I really don't think they do and it helps me to be settled in the idea that it's genetic... and it really is completely beyond my control.