April is Autism Awareness Month. Last week my friend Carolyn published a very moving post describing her experience of life with two children ‘on the autistic spectrum’ and she has kindly allowed me to quote from it here…
Autism is a developmental disability. It affects how you understand the world and other people; communication; social imagination; understanding and expressing your own feelings; processing language; processing unspoken communication; processing sensory stimulation; and more. It is a lifelong condition, you don't grow out of it, and it affects people in lots of different ways - this is why it is referred to as a spectrum. No two people with autism will be the same. All will have difficulties with social interaction, social communication and social interaction.
…We live with this on a daily basis. Sometimes it is hard - but the joys are always there as well. I love my kids and this is just one part of who they are. It is a difference not a disorder. It brings challenges, but also brings rewards. I'd love to be rid of the negative parts, for my children to understand the world, for them to be able to play and full and active part in all aspects of society - but I love now they joy they bring me, the way they love and I love, the view of the world that they show me, the creativity and uniqueness that is them.
If you watched the first episode of “The Politician’s Husband” on Thursday, you will have seen the talented young Oscar Kennedy playing the part of Noah, who is the son of the family, and diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. He portrayed the insistence on routine, despair at variance from patterns, inability to relate socially, and many other characteristics of AS extremely well.
You can find out more about Autism, and Asperger’s at the NAS website [here] Parenting is hard, whatever your children are like – but spare a thought – and a prayer – for those Mums and Dads who are carrying this added burden.