A Note to Parents
You are likely to be reading this at a time when you are feeling worried or scared about the future. Things do not stay hard. I can support and empower you to access the resources within yourself to help you to help your child. Perhaps your child is not communicating as expected, or someone has suggested that they might have autism. It could be that your child already has an autism diagnosis and you are looking for some extra support. This page is designed to direct you to some information, quotes and resources, which you may find helpful. This is not a replacement for individualised support from a specialist therapist but may provide some guidance at a tricky time. As always please contact me to arrange individualised support for your family.
What is autism?
Autism is most commonly described as a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates and interacts with other people and the world around them (National Autistic Society, 2017). Strengths in autism include loyalty, dependability, honesty and good attention to detail (Attwood, 2017).
The most common diagnostic label is autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The word 'spectrum' is used to reflect the range and intensity of presentations. ASD covers both individuals who have an autism and Asperger profile. ASD is known as a neurodevelopmental disorder, meaning it occurs due to brain differences. Autism is not caused by parenting.
Autism is common. More than 1% of the UK population has an autism diagnosis. Autism is more commonly diagnosed in boys than girls. A diagnosis must be made by a team of professionals. Early intervention shows the best outcomes, support is possible before a confirmed diagnosis.
For more information about autism check out the National Autistic Society (NAS) website
WELCOME TO HOLLAND
When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.” “Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”
But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay. The important thing is they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guidebooks. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you never would have met. It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…and you begin to notice Holland has windmills…and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy…and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say, “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away…because the loss of that dream is a very, very significant loss.
But…if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to go to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things…about Holland
Written By Emily Perl Kingsley in 1987 about her experience of raising her son, Jason who was born with Down syndrome.