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Autism Parents Support

For Parents and Carers BY Parents and Carers

We are a group of parents and carers, not medical experts. Always access professional medical advice if you are in any doubt for your child.

Coming to terms with a new diagnosis of Autism can often be hard! Negative thoughts and feelings come to the fore, EVEN if you were expecting the result!

When we were new to Autism, it was all very strange and frightening. What was going to happen now?            

Was  my child  going to  have a ‘life’ worth  living?   Would  they ever  have friends?   When would  the

meltdowns ever end?  What IS a ‘meltdown’?  Could they ever live an ‘independent’ life?.......


The questions were endless! But so was my grief and sorrow!  Grief for the child I  had ‘lost’, sorrow for

the life they would never get to live!  Ohhhh - and what the hell  IS  Autism anyway? Can they grow out

of it?  Will it  go away?  On and on the questions went!  And, for  every answer I found,  a dozen  new

questions popped up!      Then, at some point, I had a moment of clarity!


I was  thinking about  Autism from  MY  point of view  –  not  that of my child!  I was worrying  about the  

aspirations  I  had for my child,  not  how  they  felt or  what  THEY wanted!  It was  MY  grief that  I  was

struggling  with  –  my child had  nothing to grieve  about!


In  their own way,  in  their own world,  they  are  usually  happy!  Sure,  their  frustrations often spilled out

as anger and  meltdowns  -  it was  heart breaking for everyone  -  but it was often soon forgotten  and the

trains all got lined  up again or  the same old  TV show blared out  (how MANY times have I  got to see that

show?!),  or whatever  today’s particular  fixation was!


Don’t get me  wrong  –  life is  far from  easy now,  but it isn’t bad  –  it’s just  different! Different  from all  I

had  planned, different from that of all of my friends, different from anything I EVER imagined…….


But my  heart  TOTALLY  belongs to this little bundle of (sometimes)  confused energy!  This child who sees what

many others don’t and  (if I’m lucky)  will share  those  moments with me!  I don’t  get many  loves  and only the occasional  kiss, but when they DO  happen – they make my brain explode with happiness!  (I do wish they would let me sleep occasionally though!)


Different ISN’T wrong! Different ISN’T bad! It doesn’t have to be sad!  It’s just different – nothing more, nothing less! And a child with Autism still has a FULL life to live,  adventures to be had,  discoveries to be made…..


I can never  forget  that my  child has Autism (believe me – I try!),  But  then I  remember  that they  are

exactly  the SAME  child  I always knew!  The  diagnosis didn’t change that in any way!  And I love them

just as  much now as I did  then  (maybe even more?)!


If you are a parent new to Autism,  I hope this can help you to see that your world didn’t just turn

black  –  just a different  shade of  EVERY colour under  the rainbow!!!!

                                                                                                   © Ian Hughes. 2014