Living with Autism
Autism is a condition that affects how a person thinks, feels, interacts with others, and experiences their environment. It is a lifelong disability that starts when a person is born and stays with them into old age. Every Autistic person is different to every other. This is why autism is described as a ‘spectrum’. Definition from autismspectrum.org.
Do you know what it’s like to have a loved one with autism?
Well let me tell. Everyday is a day you learn something new about your child and about yourself. I first noticed my son was different when he was about 3. Obviously every parent believes their child is special so I was one of those who thought the sun rose and set with my boy.
When I started noticing a few different things, being a first time mother I thought what could be wrong with him. He was just perfect. By the time he was 4 we had a few issues including trauma from the life we had left behind (DV) so he was diagnosed with PTSD. That hit me hard. He was already struggling to fit in with his peers at school and had trauma to add to that. You know what though, kids are super resilient.
This is photo of him holding a book he wrote. Boy is he proud of himself and like any parent, I strive to fulfill his dreams.
It’s called a spectrum therefore everyone portrays different attributes. When he is driven you can’t stop him until he has achieved his goal. One of the things I love about him. He read the 8 Harry Potter books in 6 months. Initially I challenged him little did I know he would enjoy them. This then drove him to want something of his own.
How often do you hear a child wrote a book at the age of 8?
What does a day in our life look like?
Routine is the main thing that keeps us going. As long as we have have that we are good. I hardly have to push him when it comes to the morning school routine and after school as well. He knows all his appointments by head and will tell me even days before.
One of the things I initially struggled with was the fact that I have to let him know of my work and personal schedule atleast a week in advance. The moment I spring something on him it disrupts him not nly at home but at school and I have had the school call me when something has changed at home.
I am so grateful for how the school he is in has been amazing. He has always been lucky to have teachers that do not judge but are attentive to his needs.
One of the things I have done which helps is that I have explained to him about ASD and that he is unique in his own way but that doesn’t make him any different from everyone else. Everyone is NORMAL in their own way.
Living with autism is challenging. We are both learning something about ourselves as we navigate life but the best part is we get to navigate through all this surrounded by loved ones. We have such a loving supportive family and community. After all it takes a village to raise a family.
Every parent’s fear is that their child may not fit in. We often hear that people with ASD struggle with relationships. My son often does. He struggles with social cues. When he has friends I celebrate and want to hear everything he has to say. I am sure anyone reading this who has a child who struggles with socialising is agreeing with this. We have that many playdates because he only has 2 good friends that understand him, don’t judge and make fun of him. The joy in my heart knowing he has friends is unexplainable
Once again, it’s a challenge to live with someone on a spectrum but its the most rewarding thing. Seeing them achieve goals, seeing them grow as a person. Seeing them laugh, love and celebrate is the best thing ever. ASD is just a different kind of normal.