|Photo of Sasha, aged 2 and a half, in the month she was diagnosed. Note the summer dress (her favourite) and wellies (but she wouldn't wear socks) in the snow.|
|Photo of our eldest, Tamsin, at that same time.|
So April is Autism Awareness month.
Sadly I don't have the time to write a post every day, but I've decided to take a look back at how this blog started and what my thoughts on autism were, way back then when it was first suggested to us. I've written around 570 posts since then - not all strictly autism related of course, as I've used this blog more as a diary of our lives. Something to bring back happy memories when we're old and grey (which I'm sure my daughters would say I already am...). Over the course of the month I will bring you snippets of the past and hopefully eventually bring you up to the present.
As a starting point, maybe I should explain autism in a nutshell.
'Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects the way a person communicates and relates to people around them. People with autism have difficulties with everyday social interaction'.
My first ever blog post went like this:
Well. I'm starting this blog after a visit to the paediatrician today with my younger daughter which brought some shock news that she may be diagnosed with autism.
The paediatrician visit was via a referral from a speech therapist - we noticed youngest daughter's speech was not clear and behind where it should be from about the age of 2, and so had referred her on ourselves at that point.
After sitting with this doctor and being asked several questions, it brought home to me how easy it is to forget about things that have happened in the past, or even that happen on a semi-regular basis, and so I'm intending to keep this blog as a kind of diary going forward to remind us what happened when. I'll also go back over what has happened to date, and it'll probably be full of emotion and lots of questions, so no promises it'll be easy to read!
I suppose the first thing to say is that I'm feeling a lot of different things right now - relief, guilt, sadness, loneliness, like I'm at the start of a long journey - and that I've got a million questions, with no idea where to start. I've also got tonsillitis, the gas man due tomorrow (and no that isn't a euphemism, our heating is not working properly!), a husband in late who I need to talk to and I'm very tired, so it's most likely I'll be ending this blog before I've even properly begun, and starting on it again in the morning.
But before I go, I just want to say I love both my daughters very much indeed :)
If I could turn back time, I'd probably try and think up a better blog name... but I had two young ones at this point and was constantly tired - not sure there was much brainpower around! One thing I was sure of right from the start though, was that I wanted this blog to be about our two girls, and our family life. Not just about autism.
There's so much more to life than autism, there's all the usual stuff too. There's been a lot of ups and downs over the last six years since Sasha was diagnosed but I'm sure there are for most families. I can honestly say we are still loving and appreciating life.
For more information on autism please do visit www.autism.org.uk and for more information on the specific type of autism Sasha has (Pathological Demand Avoidance, or PDA), please visit www.pdasociety.org.uk.
This post is also a blog hop! If you have posted about autism then please drop your link in the linky below. To put the blog hop on your post please get the InLinkz code