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 -
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 -
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