My daughter's diagnosis was not initially made by a doctor. It took the awareness and knowledge of a courageous mother who had 3 boys with autism to help me. If it was not for this parent and the guidance she provided, my daughter would most likely not have gotten the help she has today. At the age of 3.5 she was not talking or playing with toys. She consistently rocked back and forth, smacked herself on the head or face. None of the 7 Pediatricians we had seen by this time mentioned anything about autism. When I asked if there was anything we needed to do to help her, we were told that she was just in a phase and it will pass. I have to admit, I was furious when we found out because of the fact that it took the help of a parent and a parents as teachers consultant to open their eyes. Once they were informed that she was 2.5 years developmentally delayed, it was too late for her to get into the First Steps program, she had to go through the school district. Once in the school district, we were connected with a Child Neurologist, thanks to the assistance of the school director who noticed her symptoms because my daughter expressed the same symptoms as her son who was diagnosed with PDD (Pervasive Developmental Disorder). Now she is in 4th grade and is going through the next phase in her life - puberty. We are so thankful that she was able to get the needed assistance early as it really helped her cope and adapt to various situations.