Six Years Ago My Daughter was Diagnosed with Autism

Every year on November 20 I reflect on my daughter’s autism diagnosis on November 20, 2006, the day before her third birthday. This year, I decided to share my reflection with the readers of the Mother Nature Network. Here is an excerpt from this year’s reflection:

Six years ago was ‘autism D-day’

On Nov. 21, 2003 my daughter, Ava, was born. Nearly three years later, on Nov. 20, 2006, she was diagnosed with autism. Hearing those words, “your daughter has autism,” created conflicting feelings within me; I was relieved because I knew something was different and now I could plan a course of action. On the other hand, I was absolutely frightened — what would her future hold?

Every year as her birthday rolls around, I think back to what I’ve dubbed “autism D-day” — in this case the “D” stands for diagnosis. Just like the day of her birth, autism D-day has had a profound effect on our family.

Photo: Zachery Testa/ZTesta Photography

About Melissa

Melissa is the mother of two children on the autism spectrum and strives to provide information about all aspects of autism through her blog, The Autism Education Site. Follow Melissa on Twitter. Like me on Facebook.

© Melissa Hincha-Ownby and The Autism Education Site, 2008-2014.


  1. [...] holiday season is upon us and for those of us that have a family member with autism, sometimes it feels like the season can bring more stress than fun. I hope that these posts from [...]

  2. [...] one of the better autism books I’ve read. Even now, more than six years after my daughter was diagnosed with autism, the information that Notbohm presents is useful. If I were the parent of a newly diagnosed child, [...]