Enthusiasm and @ojosworld ‘s “normal” #ThisIsAutism

By | April 9, 2014

D’s enthusiasm has known no bounds today, I had thought her excitement on Mothers Day could not be surpassed. She definitely excelled herself today, her Mumma’s birthday.

All 150cm of her arrived squealing with excitement at 630am this morning (school holidays lie in? Pah!) and she could not wait to start celebrating. As I’ve mentioned before, she did not recognise birthdays, Christmas or anniversaries as special days for absolutely years and she is certainly making up for it now.

We’ve had a day out today, firstly seeing Grandad (who’s also recently had a birthday) and then a trip to the cinema to see Rio 2 in 3d.

The film was really good, very visually entertaining with loads of great songs and it was the songs that D enjoyed most. She got a bit fed up during prolonged (to her) dialogue and kept asking (quite loudly) if we could leave. Fortunately tight cuddles kept her in there until the film finished, it’s not cheap to go after all!

It was quite busy in town and part of me would have liked a little browse but T was adamant that we go in, we see the film, we get a cake (oh yes, indeedy) and we come home – very much “if it’s not on the list, you’re not doing it”.

It’s been a good (on the whole day), we were meant to be going to the SN evening at soft play tonight but tbh both T and D were quite tired after a day out and I think a further outing may have been too much.

The next birthday in our little house is now D’s and she is already counting down, that enthusiasm is infectious and very, very welcomed!!

This Is Autism

Tonight’s guest post is one I really identify with, both from a guilt trip angle and a “this is our normal” perspective.

@Ojosworld is a lovely blogger buddy, we share a love of vintage, of wobbling away in Wobbles Wednesday and, of course, autism parenting. Hopefully I’ll meet her at a blogging event some time and get a cwtch!

Over to Ojo:

What is autism for me? It is normal, it is my normality.

I remember speaking to a former colleague, who had twins, I had just given birth to my 2nd child. As a baby, he had not shown any signs of anything. I remember saying to her
“How do you cope? Having 2 at the same time?”
She told me, it was her normal. She just did it, they were her children, she loved them. Simple.

When my, now tween, was a toddler, he was bloody hard work. I, like everyone else, thought he was just a naughty child. I knew nothing about autism, had barely even heard of it! My mum, who is a big part of our family life, had raised concerns about his slow speach. We just put it down to having a big brother, saying things for him.
It was a concern that he was late potty training, but I had it so easy with my 1st son, I didn’t think of it as a ‘symptom’.

He was always soooo difficult to take shopping……..or take anywhere, if I am honest. If only I had knew there were possible sensory issues. There are so many things that, on reflection, were warning signals. But if you don’t know anything about it, how do you spot it?

Then, when child number 2 was just past 4, I got pregnant with child no.3.

By this time, another family member had a child with Autism. So we began to learn, just snippets, but learn about autism. When my 3rd son got to, around, 18months old, he stopped speaking. He hadn’t been saying much anyway, but he stopped altogether.

Can you imagine not hearing the words mam or dad, suddenly?

He stopped hearing us. We thought he was deaf, or hard of hearing. When I say ‘we’ I am referring to me and my mum. My hubby went into total denial.
Then his 2 year review came up, and I poured out my concerns to a Health Visitor. She was so supportive and helpful, but I could tell by her face, that she knew what she was looking at. It’s never said though. Professionals will not say a word, until you have an official diagnosis.

Then you go on a roller coaster ride of appointments and therapies. Then you learn, you learn everything you can about autism, because it’s all you can do. I cannot expect him to always understand me, but I try my best to always understand him.

The education I gave myself went on to explain an awful lot about my middle son. I realised how many of the traits explained his behaviours. Realising how many years had gone by, without my understanding, is one of the biggest parenting guilt trips I have ever felt. It is absolutely heartbreaking, realising how many times I told him off for doing something wrong, that he didn’t know was wrong!

Also realising that everytime I made him go back to the car with daddy, for performing when we were shopping. Or sitting on the naughty step, because he had hit his brother again. I was doing him a favour!! I was separating him, I was leaving him alone. I was doing exactly what he now loves!

Where are we now? We are a house that is forever learning. We are a house of very few meltdowns, because we don’t put them in the situations they can’t handle.

We are normal, our normal.

x Ojo x

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4 Comments

rebecca beesley on 26th April 2014 at 9:43 pm.

I can so relate to Ojo’s post. I too thought I had a baby who was just hard work and it is only after diagnosis that I realised the lack of sleep, the difficulty with change, the not coping in shops, not being able to sit still, always trying to escape, the late potty training etc etc were all signs – but we didn’t have a clue at the time. Even on the positive side he recognised all the numbers on his advent calendar at 18 months and was doing complicated maths sums at age 3 – but we just thought all kids could do that. We were totally clueless that it wasn’t ‘normal’. x

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Jeannette on 30th April 2014 at 9:14 pm.

Same here, it was only when I was childminding a child the same age as D and realised what she should be achieving but wasn’t, that I started to realise.

Reply

rebecca beesley on 30th April 2014 at 9:16 pm.

I used to childmind too! Gave up when we had to home-school as i needed to focus on the boys education x

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Jeannette on 1st May 2014 at 9:48 am.

Aww, it’s an experience isn’t it!

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