From the moment you were born I had a vision of what our life would be like and the things we would do as a family from swimming trips, to mini weekend breaks away, not realising that it would become a challenge for me to do any of them.
Oh what a perfect little boy you were, developing at the rate you should have been, hitting all your milestones.
Your dad and I were over the moon with this amazingly independent boy you were becoming.
Your first birthday came and went, your immunisations were all up to date and I felt so proud that I completed my first year of being a mother with no problems. But the more time I spent with you, I began to realise that you were not progressing as quickly as you were in your first year;
– you weren’t talking or walking
– you weren’t giving eye contact when spoken to
– you couldn’t feed yourself &
– you just had no interest in any form of sensory activity.
What was wrong with you?
That was all I kept wondering. What was wrong?
After many referrals, trips to paediatricians, speech and language therapists, audiologists and many different one to one workers my boy was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 2½ years.
Why was this happening to me?
What does this mean for your future? Is it my fault? Did I do something wrong? These were all the things that were running through my head, day and night I was constantly beating myself up about it, thinking that I could have done something to prevent this from happening.
I constantly had people not supporting me. ‘Perfect dads’ ran away when things got tough, not wanting to accept that you were different, doubting my ability as a parent and never failing to let me know that it was my fault. He didn’t want to be involved in your life because you were not doing things that other children were doing and its understandable that its hard to understand the why’s but its not good enough.
Once I spoke to various doctors and got involved with the right services, I found out more about autism and what it meant in regards to your development and what I could do to support you.
I knew I had to pull up my socks and realise that this wasn’t about me- it was about you. I was not going to treat you any differently than any other child; I wasn’t going to be super over protective. I knew it would be a challenging journey but motherhood in general is no picnic in the park, so I was ready for all the challenges that were going to get thrown my way.
I was ready.