AUTISM AWARENESS WEEK
For this week to help raise autism awareness I will be posting a blog everyday to share some remarkable ladies and their journey through life as a mum of a child with Autism. I will be sharing their challenges, the highs and the lows and I will now introduce you to Kelly and here is her story …….
My son was diagnosed with autism at the age of 4 , this came after years of ruling out hearing problems, sight difficulties and any other physical impairments that could of been causing his delays. The first few years were such a struggle, not only emotionally but physically as my son also has a sleep disorder and use to wake roughly every 30 minuets. I’d never felt more alone in those first few years trying to be the best mum I could be ( I have 3 boys) but functioning was all I had.
As my son started nursery I felt a weight was lifted, they noticed my son was struggling as was I and the support I got from them was vital and shaped the years that followed myself and my family. The amazing ladies at his nursery supported me through so many difficult times but knowing they cared so deeply for my child while he was in their care allowed me to rest for a while. His full diagnosis came at the age of four whilst attending mainstream school. I knew it was coming but did not brace my self for the feeling on hearing it confirmed, I felt frozen and completely lost with no idea what I was meant to do. I spent many nights crying and feeling horrendous guilt for my lovely little boy, like somehow it was me that had done this. I felt guilt on my other children as happy go lucky mum no longer existed, I was worried all the time, continually researching and trying new things to help. I worked with the Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language, Communications and Interaction team, doctors, sleep clinic and anything else I could find. I never stopped. But the big battle was yet to come. Mainstream school was very very difficult, but this is where I found my true strength. I found many adults working and telling me what my son was unable to do but needed to, he had one saving grace and that was his incredible Teaching Assistant who just saw us all as a family, not data she not only supported my son and kept him happy she also worked on his therapies and gave me as a mum the time and care to reassure. She told me the truth never lied ,highlighted his areas of need( so I could work on them at home to support school) but more importantly she saw his brilliant mind and slowly he made progress. This continued for a few years, but unfortunately my sons Teacher Assistant was let go from the school. And this was the moment my son fell apart.
He was completely unable to continue in school there was no one who was able to care for him and several TAs came and went. I was no longer dealing with just autism and sensory processing disorder and a sleep disorder I was now dealing with mental health, his already excising anxiety became unbearable, he couldn’t cope with any environment in school, he began hurting him self all by the age of 8. The fight came that was the LEA we as a family were on the floor, I was alone again but I’d learned that I have strength I can fight. My son humbled me he never gives up his struggles are all the time every minute of everyday and night. If he can fight 24/7 so can I. Eventually after being on repeat for 2 years and making sure no one ignored us and having to pull my son out of school I finally got him into the most incredible school that are specialists in ASD. My boy is nearly 12 now and still has his difficulties however he is happy, progressing hugely he is handling things I never thought he would. He is chatty and loving and the most incredible little thing, my life is completely blessed, throughout everything that gets thrown at us I have 3 beautiful children who look after each other and have all become stronger more compassionate little men. However I think when authorities are involved they could use a little compassion as I could never put into words the heartbreak we as parents of autism go through but when everything that can help your child is a battle too it makes life horrendous for all living it, this is not our jobs this is us our life all we live for and it revolves around budgets and staff shortages.
On a good end I’ve gone into the education system and hope to help many many families over my years ahead.
Written for Autism Awareness Week – I would like to thank the inspirational and amazing women that have shared their stories with me. Click here for The National Autistic Society and also here for the charity Parents In Need.
Here are the other stories from his week: