In the first 20 months of his life, Stephen hit every developmental milestone: he crawled, walked, and talked. He was within the age-appropriate weight and height percentiles. By all accounts, he was a normal child.
And then, over a period of six months, Vincent and I watched as our once active and talkative toddler gradually develop into a lethargic and silent little child. His vocabulary became limited; the 20 words in his vocabulary began reducing to 10 and five. He lost his ability to make eye contact, and no longer showed interest in playing with other children or toys.
Apart from turning switches on and off and opening all the doors in the house, his favourite activity was to endlessly spin and clap his hands. He was very particular about his food and seemed comfortable eating the same food daily.
Any sudden change in his routine affected him so much that he would exhibit full-blown, horrific tantrums that looked and sounded like nothing I’d ever seen. Something was definitely affecting Stephen’s overall development. It seemed as if one by one, all of the circuit breakers in his brain were clicking off.