Me and my girl and boy, raising awareness and acceptance of autism

I was always told this from an early age…literally had it drummed into me.

I was born six weeks premature, which would be a worry these days, let alone then.

A child born on the same day as me, with a similar prematurity, was found to be brain-damaged. I think I was told his parents named him David.

Every time I must have been a typical little girl/big sister (to two younger sisters) and did something that was “naughty”, I was told “you’re a lucky little girl because a boy born the same day as you …etc”

Well, let’s see….

Was I “lucky” when a family member developed severe PND when I was 5 (or so) and one of my first proper memories is of going to see them in a clinic?

It may not have felt like it at the time but now I realise the importance of talking when things are getting you down. It has always made me very wary of medications to the extent that my head has to be ab-sol-utely banging before I will pop a Nurofen.

Was I “lucky” when my parents split up when I was nine and we moved far away from friends, school and grandparents?

It was a massive upheaval at the time and going into a new class with a single parent who was a father not a mother was difficult. We were the “newbies”, the ones to whisper about and wonder about circumstances etc. But I met my best friend in the first year of secondary school and we’ve been through parental divorce, marriage, divorce (neither of those to each other!) and subsequent lasting relationships. I had three children, she didn’t have any but when we’re on the phone etc. it’s great. We can be chatting about something one minute and then literally collapsing with laughter the next over something that’s triggered a funny memory. Good times.

Was I “lucky” when I answered the home phone one night and it was someone (male) who had a conversation with me that ended with him “asking what colour p*nties you are wearing?” I was about ten years old and can still remember the silky tone he used and the way I was so shocked I just slammed the phone down but also too scared to tell anyone.

It petrified me at the time but it opened my eyes to the sort of people who are out there and how it can effect you. I am very careful to dress D appropriately. You won’t ever see pictures taken in the paddling pool because I’m aware how quickly images can spread. There is a mechanism on my blog that tells me how people how found me and the search terms they use, some of them were very revealing and it made me consider the words I use. For example “autism girl in b*th”. What were they hoping to see?

Was I “lucky” when my first husband left without warning, when my son was 3? Leaving me with a mortgage etc.

Well, obviously not at the time, it was very difficult to make ends meet on a single income. He left and didn’t contribute at all to the bills, I got £35 a week when he could afford it. I never bad-mouthed him to my son and just kept going.

Three years later I met Hubbie and if you’ve read my “Mr Bluecrisps” post you know the rest.

Was I “lucky” when we found out that D has autism and we now have concerns whether T is on the spectrum too?

Again, at the time it’s devastating, part of that is fear because the life you has envisaged for your beautiful children has been ripped apart. In time you come to accept that your child is still your child, despite the “label” that society has forced upon them. Raising awareness of a disability that others cannot see becomes paramount. I’ve met some wonderful people via the autism community on Twitter, I’m so grateful.

The sun is shining in my back garden in suburbia. Hubbie will be due home soon and then heading off to football training with our sporty, clever, loveable T, wise beyond his years. My gorgeous D and I will read stories together, with Bunny overseeing.

Yes, I am lucky, I just didn’t know it.

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Thanks for reading Jx 😘

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