I must apologise for the lack of posts! It has been a couple of weeks where life just took over. Changes at school, poorly me, poorly dad (mine), 2 nights out in 1 week for me (that is my social life done for the year lol). I am also busy preparing for the school holidays. Term finishes here in 3 weeks time and she has 7.5 weeks off so I am attempting to put some plans in place so she retains some kind of routine. I also have Noah, nearly 18 months old, constantly on the go so I have to wait until his 15 minute programme comes on in the mornings (roots him to the spot!) so I can read messages and reflect on things.
I found myself remembering a few things lately after a conversation with another parent. The parent is actually rather lovely and we were discussing the children. They are aware I have an older child with Autism. The question I knew someone soon would ask was asked “When will you know if he has autism too?” meaning Noah who was shuffling around at my feet. I politely explained that at this current time there are no obvious signs but he is only 17 months old. I was not offended, I knew someone would ask that soon and I know the question was a genuine, honest one. In many ways I would rather people ask than just stare or assume. It is quite refreshing having someone willing to take that step and cross that line which so many are too frightened to do for fear of upsetting or offending me. It did, however, remind me of another conversation where I wished the words had been of better choice.
When I was pregnant with Noah I was asked a different question. I was chatting to a couple of mums about babies, you know where you all get so excited about what sex will it be, what buggy will you buy. That kind of light hearted conversation. Then one of them asked a question that I was totally unprepared for at that time. She proceeded to ask me (whilst pointing at my growing tum) “are you not terrified there will be something wrong with that one too?”. I knew what they meant but the choice of words really hurt at the time. ‘Something wrong’ – Eliza has Autism yes but the way that question was worded made it feel as if they thought she was broken, needed fixing. The truth was, I was terrified there would be ‘something wrong’ with the baby but surely every parent feels that way. All these scans and tests you go for in pregnancy, they always made me nervous. The relief you feel when they say “all is well” is huge. Although its a bit hazy I am sure that is pretty much what I replied. that every parent worries about them blah blah blah but I was hurt. I know they probably didn’t intend that to happen, I think the choice of words could have been better but it set me thinking for days about how many people might see her as broken or wrong. It stuck with me for ages and even now as I type I can remember feeling so deflated. You see Autism is a part of her, we can not get away from that. She changes every day but it is always going to be there for the rest of her life. She is not broken, she is not weird, she definitely isn’t wrong. She is beautiful, she is changing, she is blooming, she is just perfect to me (They both are) x