What were the first Autistic traits you noticed from a young age?
From the age of around 18 months old, you threw random and unpredictable tantrums. There was a great delay with your speech which lead to speech therapy later on.
Food intake was very poor when trying new foods you wouldn't attempt to taste and would roll it on your tongue and spit it out.
You would only wear certain materials and lightweight clothes or else you would feel restricted and uncomfortable which would then cause for me to becoming anxious.
I noticed you could only do wooden peg puzzles with help. You wouldn't play with any toys. I would lose interest because of the concentration span.
You couldn't role play. Anything new you tried you would lose interest within minutes.
Your social awareness was poor. You didn't play or communicate well which then led to bad behaviour.
The list is absolutely endless...
How was I different to other children of my age?
You were different because of your social awareness and understanding people's feelings, emotions and personalities.
You never understood when others were just being playful. Understanding humour and sarcasm was something you struggled with.
How has having an autistic child changed your life?
You have been very demanding and relied on me completely with everyday social skills.
Therefore, most of my time was dedicated to you. It affected my social life, family life and relationships.
It's always been a struggle but I believed that you had difficulties and dedicated myself to support and understand you.
What help from services have you received over the years?
When you were young and when I became a single parent, I struggled with your behaviour and contacted services for support.
The services wouldn't listen to me as a parent when I mentioned the noticeable behavioural patterns and repetitive traits which meant many years of repeating myself to them but not getting anywhere.
Certain services had wrongly accused it of being down to bad parenting rather than the right professionals looking into depth possibly diagnosing you with something which then would make my understanding clearer of why you behaved the way you did.
Do you believe I should have been diagnosed a lot sooner than 2012?
Yes definitely as certain situations would not have arisen to the great extent they had and your social awareness could of been helped with sooner.
What do you find to be the greatest challenge of all?
This would be fighting for what I believed was wrong with you and continuously battling with services to asses you appropriately.
Describe how you felt whilst I was sent 300 miles away for a short period of time to receive professional treatment?
I was completely heartbroken, angry and fearful for how this would affect you.
I'm so used to being with you that I felt very lost and scared of what the future may of held.
I didn't think you needed to be sectioned under the mental health as I don't think your autism was taken into account.
I spent endless of conversations with the mental health team explaining my views of what areas you struggled with the most which were repetitive and obsessive behaviours which resulted with you suffering with anxiety and then meltdowns.
What advice would you give to other parents who are going through a similar experience?
If you believe your child is showing traits of autism, always voice your concerns repeatedly to services and ask for assessments to be correctly made by professionals. You should also do plenty of research on autism so you can understand yourself what difficulties your child faces.
Did you ever doubt my interest of blogging wouldn't last as long as it has?
Yes I did because throughout your childhood you've lacked in concentration and have been very obsessive and flippant when deciding to do something that interests you. You find it easier to give up and start something else which then becomes less interesting and give up again.
What are your thoughts on my blog?
Your work is very inspirational. You've finally found something you've stuck at and enjoy doing but most of all you've proved that you are very talented and this is certainly what you are good at.
I have noticed that you find it easier to express yourself through your blogging but at the same time, have grown to have a greater knowledge and understanding of the disabilities you face daily which has proven to be beneficial with how you've matured with age.
Well done. Keep it up.... I'm very proud!!