A mother speaks openly about her courage and unwaivering commitment to raising her autistic son.
At Morgan’s autism diagnosis session, I sat on my own in the corner of the assessment room and was told not to interact with him in any way.
Tears ran down my face.
Helplessly, I watched Morgan (Morgie to us) move through each task, unable to understand anything about his environment or even basic instructions.
My heart broke as I saw confusion and fear in his little eyes – at the sight of just bubbles and a toy doll, toys that would usually see a child burst with joy.
Morgie’s disability is mental so it’s often assumed that he’s ‘badly behaved’ or, as is often the case, that it is simply bad parenting – an accusation we’ve had told to us in the flesh many, many times.
On holidays we always need to sit in the same chair at breakfast and at the pool each day. While I know that can be difficult for people around us, we are just managing what can be an incredibly challenging situation.
It’s World Autism Awareness month and because awareness is so integral, I have decided to tell our story. This is my most honest and open account to date.
Awareness about autism can have a huge benefit to kids like Morgie and their families, but not only that. It can also help you the commuter, or you, the passenger be it on the plane, bus or train. It can help you the diner, out enjoying lunch, the woman at the hairdresser, or you, perched at a cafe table enjoying your coffee, a little uncomfortable and unsure where to look.
Awareness can help change us all and help us understand why the little girl wearing pink crocs doesn’t want her feet touched.
Awareness can help other children who don’t get why Morgie doesn’t like the taste of chocolate or sweets.
It can help the people that stare at him when he uncontrollably screams with delight if he knows he’s going horse riding or swimming, or when he’s in the pool and he sloshes water into the corner over and over again because it makes a cool wave and it makes him feel good.
Morgan has an older brother and a younger brother and it’s so important to acknowledge them because they’re the ones who really suffer post one of Morgan’s meltdowns.
On occasion this is all before breakfast and a full day of school.
Hugs and kisses are free and generous in our house. We are not short on lots and lots of cuddles – that’s one thing that’s absolutely steadfast.