I was recently asked to write an article for the wonderful organisation ‘Kalparrin’ http://www.kalparrin.org.au/ in Western Australia that supports people with disabilities and their families. An honour! The tricky bit was the brief. To write an article in 100 words or less about my journey raising a child with autism. Seriously ten pages would have been easier than 100 words!
I did write the article…but it was 222 words. I am sure it will be edited down to fit into the newsletter. Fortunately I have the luxury of posting it here in its entirety! Next time you have time on your hands try writing about your own child rearing experiences in 100 words or less. Brownie Points to you if you can do it!
April is Autism Awareness Month
by Kaz Brooks
My son was diagnosed with autism at 18 months of age. Suddenly all the things parents take for granted in their children no longer came with a guarantee for my child. I’m talking about language, behaviour, toileting, sleeping, going out, being safe, and having friends. After the diagnosis and the blur of grief I swung into action and set out to ‘Fix the Problem’. I thought if I could only get my son to do A, B, C, and D then things would be ‘OK’. As the months flew by I realised there was no ‘Quick Fix’. Four years have passed now and I approach autism, and what is means to be ‘OK’, very differently. My son having autism means that he is a passionate, outgoing, funny, and adventurous person, who also has a disability. Having a disability means he needs support, accommodations made, understanding and acceptance. It is also important that he is part of an inclusive community, where people have an awareness of autism, and where people with autism are listened to and treated with dignity and respect. My hope is that this fantastic boy of mine will be afforded every opportunity to fulfil his potential and will grow up to be the very best adult with autism that he can be. That would be MORE than OK with me!