On Monday 18th November 2013 I took part in the "This is Autism" flash blog in response to Autism Speaks publishing their Call to Action. This was my contribution.
Those of you that know me personally will know that in June this year my little girl was diagnosed with Autism. Last week on twitter I came across a statement by "Autism Speaks", the leading Autism charity in America talking about what they believe Autism is and how it affects the families of Autistic children and asking for a call to action. I have seldom felt so angry. It states that families with Autistic children "are not living". We exist in "fear" and "despair". Our children who are the cause of this despair are likened to being missing and gravely ill. This is how they want the world to view Autistic children and there families. Our life is nothing like that.
In response to Autism Speaks a Flash blog with the theme "This is Autism" has been set up for this Monday for those of who have been touched by Autism to give our views.
So for me, this is Autism
This is Rose. She has just turned 3 years old - the photo above was taken on her birthday. She is cheeky, inquisitive, generally well behaved, and Autistic. Did I also mention that she is also gorgeous :)
She loves being outdoors and has a particular liking for daisies, dandelion clocks and English Plantain (Ribwort). There is a large photo of a daisy in our local library that she always visits to give it a hug and a kiss.
She also loves being by the sea and piggy backs with her daddy.
Did I mention she really likes piggy backs with her daddy :D
She also likes joining us in dressing up and cuddles.
So for me, this is Autism. My beautiful smiling girl who is always a few seconds away from a smile or a giggle. Who loves the colour yellow, is fascinated by people drawing and writing, finds tickles hilarious, loves letters and pictures of the sun. Who likes to investigate everything, in every little detail. Who loves to spin and rock and jump on the bed. Who though she can't speak, is very good at communicating what she wants. Who may not give kisses when asked but "looks after" mummy when I'm poorly and gives spontaneous huge hugs (when she sometimes sneaks in a kiss). Being Autistic is not without it's problems, but we work with Rose to help her overcome or work around these with the help of others such as Portage and Speech Therapy. I don't live in fear and despair for my little girl. She is not missing or gravely ill. She is bright and beautiful and determined and curious and a ray of sunlight to everyone who knows her. Rose being Autistic makes her who she is. So for me this is Autism. My little baby girl who stole my heart with the first look she gave me on the hospital bed, who is growing up so fast. Never a burden, always a joy.
Of course I have to say all this - she is my mini me ;)