It's that time of the year, from the 1st to 7th of April is Autism awareness week, with the 2nd designated as the day.
I've lived with autism for a number of years now, some knowingly, some unknowing. All of them have brought their own challenges and joys. My belief that autism was becoming more accepted was knocked badly, towards the end of last year, if I'm honest. The UK version of 'I'm a Celebrity' was on, with Anne Hegarty part of the camp. She was diagnosed as an adult and has been quite open with it. I thought her going into the camp would do so much for awareness, for understanding the differences...........how wrong was I!?
The attitude towards her actually made me take myself away from social media, which I haven't fully embraced back. So many of the things she was being attacked for, were issues I deal with everyday. She was classed as lazy, but no one was telling/asking her to do anything!? That's a major issue in this house: If I'm not specific, it doesn't get done.
One example I'll always remember, was one of my sons being asked if he could open a window, to which he responded 'yes'. No one had asked him to open the window, just if he could, which is a different question.
Those little things can make a big difference!
However, that's just one small part of living with children that have autism.
Do you notice I don't say 'suffer'?
That's because no on in this house is suffering.
We are a happy, mostly calm, household. That's not saying there isn't chaos and meltdowns, there are, we've just learnt how to deal with them, in our way, to minimise stress.
Over the next month I'll be writing more about our life and autism, including some feelings from the rest of the immediate family. I would like to say, this will be our story, our lives.
Everyone is totally different.
I hope you'll join me!