Read an excerpt below.
By Jenny McCarthy
MOST PEOPLE IN THE AUTISM COMMUNITY have heard my story of how I fought to get my son back from autism. For those of you new to my story, I'd like to share with you the events that led us down this path that an increasing number of families are experiencing right now.
Evan was two and a half years old when I found him in his crib convulsing and struggling to breathe. I had no idea it was a seizure until the paramedics began talking about how to stop it. I was hoping it was a fluke, but my nightmare had only just begun. Three weeks later Evan started seizing again, but this time he wasn't struggling to breathe. His body just lay lifeless as foam started to come out of his mouth. I prayed to God to make it stop, but it didn't. Minutes later his body went blue and his eyes dilated. I knew he had just gone into cardiac arrest. As I begged God to bring him back to me, I felt this overwhelming feeling of calming energy. If it could have spoken, it would have said, "Everything is going to be okay." I trusted this energy. I felt that this experience happening before my very eyes had a purpose. After two minutes the paramedics revived him. The "calming energy" was right. He came back. Everything seemed okay. Unfortunately, it was short lived. Evan seized on and off for the next seven hours. The doctors didn't know what to make of it; they told me he had epilepsy. But I knew there was more to it. Everything in my mommy radar was screaming, "Keep looking, there's more." So, I hunted for the very best neurologist, someone who would give me insights into my unanswered questions. He took one look at Evan and said, "I'm sorry; your son has autism."
I died in that moment. All of my future images of Evan getting married or hugging me on his way to college broke into a million pieces. I recalled all of the oddities Evan had had that had led up to this point. I had thought the flapping of his hands or staring out the window for hours made him "special." I had no idea it was autism.
When I asked if there was anything that could be done, the doctor had little hope to offer me. "Some progress is being made with some speech and behavioral therapies, but that's about all," he said. I didn't want to hear that. I wanted to know WHY he had autism and I wanted to know HOW to get him completely back. Leaving the doctor's office that day, I knew I was about to embark on the biggest mission of my life. I was going to get my boy back. I had no idea how, but I trusted my instincts and knew they would always point me in the right direction.