It’s been more than five years since my daughter, Abigail, was first diagnosed with autism. For my son, Arthur, he received his diagnosis in December last year.
Abigail is non-verbal and has the developmental age of a two-year-old despite being seven.
She’s quite reclusive but can often be found jumping around and screaming happily while clutching a Peppa Pig toy. In public, she gets up close to strangers and has no concept of personal space or stranger danger.
What life is like with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Post continues after video.
My son, Arthur, on the other hand, is four and still uses a dummy.
While it’s an impediment to his speech, it’s a sensory item that he needs. If you take the dummy away, he has violent meltdowns where he’ll punch and kick the person nearest to him, usually me.
We go out regularly as a family, but the behaviours of Abigail and Arthur mean people often stare with judgemental looks. Strangers don’t see their behaviours as symptoms of autism, they just see two misbehaved kids.