April is Autism Awareness Month, although we are an advocate for autism every single day there are still many people who do not fully understand what Autism entails or do not want to know. As a family, we threw ourselves into everything that surrounds autism, we changed every aspect of our life in order to make it a better one for Teddie and us all.
Our journey started 3 years ago when Teddie was 2, although he hit his developmental milestones (early in fact) his speech was the one thing that was delayed. As Teddie got older his lack of communication started to hinder him more and more and I was at the end of my tether and could not take any more of him constantly pulling me towards everything he wanted so we decided to seek out professional help in the form of speech and language. 3 years later he has never had active speech and language due to the endless waiting list and lack of resources in our area, everything he has achieved has been on his own merit and the preservation to want more (an obsessive mum helped) Over the years I realised the issues Teddie was facing was more than speech and language, noise was the hardest thing for him to cope with he couldn’t be around anyone who cried, was loud or became over-excited. Noise looked to be like a pain shooting through him, he could not handle it and became very disorientated when subjected to it.
We decided to share our autism journey opening and publicly even before we received a diagnosis as we wanted others to see how we managed our life with a child on the spectrum as well as having two neurotypical children. I’d love to say it’s been easy but it hasn’t been, it has been hard and testing on everyone especially on Gareth and I but Teddie is not to blame for this, it’s children as a whole (If you didn’t already know they are hard work!) Lately, I have really been seeing things through a different perspective- a lot of what Teddie is experiencing has nothing to do with his disability it is “normal” behaviour for a 5-year-old. It is very easy to think everything he does is due to his diagnosis but I am finding he is doing more and more things as his brothers did which has been lovely to see. Teddie still struggles in certain situations more so when he doesn’t know what is happening or there’s a long wait for an activity to start but he is participating more and more in class which is amazing.
Sharing our journey is also awareness for autism in our local community when Teddie started school we asked parents whom we knew to share a post I had written about being kind and teaching your child that all children are different, I was so worried the children in his class would have an opinion on him especially as at the time he was completely nonverbal but they were all amazing and still are.
There many small minded people in this world who choose not to understand the complexity of autism, we have family members who have never asked about Teddie’s autism, never encouraged him or rewarded him for his brilliance. The first thought would be to react with anger and annoyance however, I feel sorry for them and at times think they are jealous of Teddie especially his academic achievements. It’s these people whom I want Teddie to have an understanding of, these people will never give you the accreditation you deserve now or in the future, have them in your life but keep them at a distance.
Life on the spectrum has it’s up’s and downs but we are at a place in our lives when we really don’t have to think about it we just know what to do or how to approach a certain situation without worrying too much about it.
Teddie is a kind-hearted lad with a massive personality who we couldn’t be prouder of if we tried.
We love our Bear and wouldn’t have him any other way.