It is very hard for me to paint a picture of myself through words. I am a wife, a mother of 4 beautiful quirky children who have no filters. Just Like many other Mums I walk and my walk tells a story. That story is consumed of Autism.
Our third child was diagnosed when she was 10, (After countless years of fighting for answers.)
From there our journey began. Yes it’s been a wear and tear on us all as a family, but we’ve navigated through the exhaustion, uncertainties, confusion, and derailments, hoping that someone would tell me it wasn’t all in my head and that soon our roller coaster ride would stop and everything was going to be ok.
Sleep deprived and alone during the day with no family in Australia very quickly wore me down; my shoulder became the trunk for her to cling too. My bed relocated to the sofa and constant referrals & Dr Appointments soon paid to build the new Dr Surgery.
The Schooling years became our worst nightmare. School became my second home as I helped out trying to piece together why she couldn’t settle. Make friends and constantly come home smelling of urine. Birthday invitations came and were replied to yet cancelled at the last minute as the anxiety became too much.
Parent teacher interviews would reveal the answers we kept telling ourselves. , Unfortunately to the teachers she was the perfect student, . Had no behaviours, respectful, completed everything asked of her to the point she went above and beyond. And if all the students were like her then teachers jobs would be bliss.
When we raised concerns about friends, we were repeatedly told she had a quiet nature and it would happen. Stop stressing & maybe I needed to take up an interest.
School camps came, were paid for and cancelled. With High school fast approaching our concerns grew even more.
High school arrived and we lasted 5 weeks. Our young adolescent became Mute for months. The corner of her bedroom became her haven where she was observed, rocking. Fading away & cuddling a pillow talking to our dog.
That was my epiphany, moment.
From there we made the biggest decision of our Childs life. We removed her from school (against psychiatrists wishes ) Enrolled her into Distance Education, got her involved in a ASD group called Harmony Hooves and had councillor and psychologist appointments weekly.
Our road took many twists and turns for the good and bad, but we survived I strongly believe if we had of chosen a different path we may not have our beautiful daughter with us today. Today she is studying to become a vet nurse, is Cafe Coordinator at McDonalds has great friends, a boyfriend and is on her Learners license, things we were told she would never achieve as she couldn’t even make to the letterbox unattended.
But if I had to narrow down a couple of moments that took my breath away, it would be the resilience they have showed , progress and achievements they have made whether it be big or small ,.We are proud of them and they are loved deeply with uncontainable love .
This journey helped us with our next diagnosed, yet it has been so very different if not harder, yet we are still here. Stronger, more knowledgeable and educated.
Journeys for families with children on the Spectrum or a disability can be crippling, not just for the parents but for siblings.
My mission in life is to promote awareness of Autism. Educate Acceptance, respect and convey as diligently as I can to families that hope does exist and they are not running solo. Our walks of life may differ but the road we travel is similar and I get it. I understand and can empathize with you and am here to help if you allow it.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.’ Martin Luther King J’.