A Mother’s Love

Some days as I look back on our journey, I remember the isolation. The feeling of being so alone. The feeling that I was wrapped up in my own little world and no one could possibly understand what me and my family were going through.

Autism? In the beginning, I truly had no idea how big a part this would play in all our lives. Little was I aware that not only would it totally change & shape the course of our lives but also how it would change me as a person. As the years went by, Autism made stronger. The mum who was once scared, slowly but surely gained a stronger voice, a stronger heart. It can be done. I did it, so can you.

Nobody can prepare you for your journey. Nobody can truly understand. I see pity in others eyes, thankful it’s not their journey. Some days, Autism is the hardest thing to live with. It makes you feel like you failed, somehow you didn’t do it right, believe me, that’s a perfectly normal reaction to have. I’ve had many such moments over the years. The heart wrenching guilt, that rips out your insides, that nagging voice at the back if your head, screaming, “it’s all your fault.” It took many years for me to accept the truth. Autism is nobody’s fault. No one chooses autism. It’s destiny. It was written for me and my daughter. I can’t change it no matter how much I want to. It’s here. It’s part of our lives. The sooner I accepted that fact, the easier it became to deal with all the negative emotions.

So my daughter has autism does that make her any less loveable?
Most definitely NOT!!
Aaisha is the centre of my world. Even at 18 years old, we play Lego. She sits next to me while I read to her, she pulls me into the Disney store as I’m trying to walk past.

She’s the most affectionate child I know. Just because she doesn’t have the speech we have, it doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a voice. Aaisha says a lot and if you listen carefully, you’ll hear her with your heart, just like I do every day. Some days are harder than others and some days are just filled with endless moments of joy.
I truly wouldn’t change my journey because if I did.. Well you wouldn’t have ever known my daughter. Meet Aaisha. She is my daughter. She has autism. I am not scared or ashamed to say this to the world.

Autism has no favourites. It can happen to anyone of any background, any religion. If you let autism win then you’ve lost the biggest battle of your life! In our house no matter how bad it gets it, we will never ever let it get the better of us. So my daughter can’t do many things her peers can.. I’ve accepted this. No matter how hard or heartbreaking this may be for me. Once I might have had millions of dreams for her but the harsh reality is very different.
Imagine knowing your child will never lead an independent life?
That they will need a carer everyday for the rest of their lives?
Your child will never be able to tell you if they are hot or cold, if their head or ear hurts?
Your child won’t ever ask if she/he can go out?
Your child won’t ever want a phone or laptop of any kind?
Your child won’t ever leave home, get married and have children of their own?

These things are all reality in my world. I live with knowing and having to accept that this is the way it is. During a meltdown I hold my 18 year old and rock her like she’s 9 months!
But I refuse to be beaten. I will move heaven & earth for my daughter. I believe my daughter, regardless of her autism, should be treated the same as everybody else. She has the same right to explore & develop.
Acceptance & understanding of autism is vital. Not just for Aaisha but every other child & families living with autism. I may not have autism & neither do her siblings but the impact it has on our lives has meant we know it inside out. You see autism is hard for the child with autism but it’s even harder for those living with it. Raising the awareness, engaging others and taking about autism is essential to make a difference.

Every child is unique & special. Every child deserves acceptance.

Pam Malhi

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