My husband, CJ, and I celebrated 10 years of being together today. Ten years since we first met. We actually have 3 anniversaries (yep) but this one is the one I regard to be the most important because it was this one that marks the date that life as I knew it would be tipped upside down.
He is the most incredible father who is ever present for his tribe of girls. He has this cheeky grin and he has a great sense of humour and makes me laugh a lot. He’s so bright. He teaches me lots of things. He also is fantastic at pulling me up when I’ve taken something too far and he’ll often be the first person to roll his eyes and sigh with a comment like, “Why must you always insist on learning things the hard way?” (Because that’s me, baby, a bull in your china shop.)
My husband is a 33 year old male. He’s also autistic.
We were together 7 years before we realised he had autism. It wasn’t until after my eldest daughter, Sno, was diagnosed after a few years of back and forth deliberation on my behalf that we finally got her assessed and diagnosed – and THEN it occurred to us that CJ was too.
Katie Price talks about her personal experience with Autism. Post continued below.
I knew my eldest daughter wasn’t “neurotypical” from about age 4 in kindergarten.
Back then I didn’t drive, so we walked everywhere. If I dare walk a different route to kindergarten she would fall apart. If I didn’t give warning when I planned to change her usual breakfast food, she would not handle it. She never liked to be touched by other kids in kindy. She didn’t cope well with the singing songs. She would cry and cover her ears when someone sang “Happy Birthday” louder than a hush tone. She didn’t give good eye contact. She didn’t cope with meeting new people very well. She was rigid in her routine and there were plenty of routines.
I mentioned these quirks of hers to my husband. He dismissed them as normal and said he didn’t see the issue.
Wanna know why? Because for him it was his normal, too. He saw no issue with the way she behaved because he could see why. He could understand her triggers because they triggered him, too. And he had many of the exact same struggles when he was young that she was experiencing now. But no one made any connection.
After another very tough year I decided enough was enough. I needed help. Sno was melting down at the beach. Her screaming would go on for hours and hours. I’d tried everything, even things that didn’t feel good to me and nothing was working.
She was assessed. She was diagnosed with autism. It took a paediatrician an hour to make crystal clear a bunch of ongoing issues we’d been experiencing as a family for almost two years. I felt relief and direction. When I told my husband he was in shock and disbelief.