It’s been a very busy month! Aaisha has been dancing away most weekends so it’s been a great start to the year. However as is the way, when you live with autism, we have to always expect the unexpected. We had a scary hospital dash at the start of the month. Aaisha is going through a phase of holding her breath during meltdowns and then she can’t seem to breath properly. If one of my other children were to panic like this, I could explain to them to take deep breaths through the nose and out the mouth but Aaisha won’t understand this, so off to the hospital we have go in order for us to have her checked properly. I’m actually thinking they should just give us our own room!
All things dealt with and with Aaisha seemingly settled, my next task reared its ugly head, giving me a hard shove back to reality. Aaisha leaves school this July! Now it’s time to face my fears as I search for a college placement for her, a place where her needs will be met, where she has the 1:1 support she needs. Aaisha has been in full time education since she was 2, she still can’t write or read! I’m fully aware that with the severe autism and learning disbility she has, she won’t be able to write a simple sentence or read herself a story but she still has the ability to learn lots of other things. For me it’s important that she has as many self help skills as possible. I won’t always be there to brush her teeth, help her get dressed or feed her. Without thinking what will it be like for her without me, I need to think of not what she can’t do but instead of the things she can be trained to do.
With autism it’s never easy. It can take months or years for children on the spectrum to be able to progress even an inch but in our house we refuse to give up, no matter how hard it gets or how tired we are. Repeating yourself everyday up to 50 times can drive you insane at times but in order to give Aaisha some independence this has to done.
Choosing a college is not something I’m looking forward to. At nearly 20 she could have been at university if she didn’t have autism. I can’t help but have thoughts like these. I’m human and I’m her mother! But she does have autism and that’s a truth I face everyday. I still want her to experience as much as possible In her life. I want her to have every choice everyone else has. I want her to reach for the stars. I want her every wish to come true! Autism may have robbed us of many moments that I took for granted while carrying her but even with autism I shall push her to excel and succeed. Even the little things are huge milestones in our house and they are celebrated. I will never give up on her or be ashamed of her flapping, rocking & babbling in public or private. That is a part of who she is. My soon to be 20 year old will always be my baby, will always need a carer, will always need a hand to guide her. It’s so important that children with autism are fully understood by society and given the same chance as everybody else. Keep supporting families who are living with autism as they are on one of the most difficult & heartbreaking journeys a parent will ever face. As we prepare to face a new journey through college now, we hope she will be happy & settled in this new phase.