My child, my first born, this little boy with his blonde hair and blue eyes, who never tried to speak, who everyone had said was just a bit behind, suddenly had this disability which was hard to comprehend, and made me feel lost in a country where I didn't speak the language or understand the customs.
The leaflet was scant with information and it never really dawned on me the actual reality of autism. As mentioned, before I got out my trusty medical journal to find more information, but that too was a paragraph of daunting words that gave me a hard hitting smack in the face that this was not going to get better with a little speech therapy.
Over the years, but more so at the start, I bought books on the subject. These books came with glowing recommendations on the jacket sleeve but to be honest, they were way too information packed with no personalisation, real stories, and a very bleak outlook.
One book I did buy was called George and Sam ( George and Sam US ) and became my new best friend.
|George and Sam|
This book was interesting, made me smile, and allowed me to see I was not the only one going through the shock of the diagnosis, the sharp learning curve of the behaviour issues and the hard truth that there is no cure, miracle or otherwise.
I find that with the 'education' books they focus on the more negative side and not the fun side, the loving side and the way that autism is not an end to everything, rather a beginning of a new life and way of thinking.
And of course, as all mums with children/adults with autism will tell you, every child with autism is unique. Autism is, as the terminology states, an 'umbrella' and a 'spectrum' and therefore is different in each child. There are familiar traits and tell tale signs, but what one child may struggle with, another sails through.
I hope that through this blog, parents out there who are perhaps at the start of the journey (and really this is a proper journey and not the ones that contestants on X Factor bleat on about), or maybe having a bit of a down day, can have a laugh at the antics of my J, the way I deal with issues that arise and see that even though autism can be very solitary, there are tens of thousands of us out there on the same solitary path but all inter-connected together.
Something a book written by a doctor/paediatrician/specialist will never truly understand, unless they too are on the personal path of this disability.