I always thought parenthood would be like the images on Athena posters in the 1980’s (remember them?) – gorgeous men tenderly cradling perfect babies. But those babies didn’t have their own poo in their hairline or dribbles of carefully pureed fruit and veg on their face! There’s a lot to learn when you become a parent, and you learn very quickly. There is a huge amount of shared experience that we can discuss easily with the numerous other parents that drift through our lives, but sometimes you come up against something that puts you into a new category of parenting.
My son has been ‘different’ since the age of 3. His labels have ranged from ‘different’ to ‘deviant’ to ‘atypical autism’ to ‘high order autistic spectrum disorder’ to ‘Asperger’s’. Armed with the infinite resources of the internet, the ability to pay for private educational psychologists and a private education, and the confidence to tackle the NHS head-on, I have still struggled to find adequate support. I hope that my blog will give you hope, comfort and a few laughs.
One of my favourite memories from my son’s childhood is when, age 8, he emerged from a small supermarket with me and said “I wonder who will get the lucky toilet rolls?”. I was utterly nonplussed until he explained that he had taken a pack of 4 loo rolls off the shelf and carefully inserted a packet of Rolos down inside the cardboard tubes, creating a free gift for the unsuspecting purchaser. He was very excited on behalf of that purchaser.
For me, the insights and laughter created by parenting an Asperger’s child outweigh the frustration. In future posts I will share my experience of topics such as conflict, discipline, high IQ and other medical matters such as epilepsy.