I am a father of two boys, at the time of writing, aged 7 and 4. L (7) has recently been diagnosed as being on the Autistic Spectrum and H (4) is showing no signs of having a similar set of needs. It is H’s experiences which have shed light on how L has developed over the years and what the differences are between the two of them.
I will be
writing this blog for several reasons. Mostly it is to share my
experiences as a father, with I hope some input from my wife as well, of
raising a child on the Autistic Spectrum. It is also however a chance
for me to seek feedback from others in similar situations, to share what
we have learned in the hope that it helps others, and more importantly
to develop relationships with other people in similar situations.
thing is clear from our experiences so far. Autistic Spectrum Disorder
is not HIV or AIDS, it is not Leukaemia and it is not Psychosis. ASD is
not a disease caused by a virus or infection and there is no cure. ASD is
just a way of describing someone who behaves differently to the
accepted norms of society. In some ways and in some cases, to the
extreme, in other cases perhaps just a bit odd. It is often said that
were today's diagnostic tools available in the past then a great number
of people would have been diagnosed who instead were just seen as
eccentric, difficult, weird or crazy.
I have named this blog
‘Life Without Grey’ because I would describe L’s behaviour as very black
and white. There is very little compromise in the mind of an autistic
child and I feel this is one of the main symptoms of the condition.
Throughout my entries you will see how certain experiences have further
illustrated this, and indeed in the early days it was the rules of
society which L didn’t understand. Complex, variable and hard to explain
rules which we all learn early on at a young age are simply
unfathomable to an autistic child, in my experiences at least.
hope that by reading and sharing in my experiences, to establish a wider
appreciation that my son, and everyone with this condition, is in fact a
normal contributing member of society, but that they do need a
different kind of support and care which people struggle to appreciate.
have considered my approach to this blog and whether to keep L and H
anonymous or not. I have decided to use an initial as their names, along
with mine and my wife’s but hope that this doesn’t affect the openness
and honesty of the blog. You may disagree but this is my blog of
personal experiences and therefore I hope that I am forgiven for
choosing this route.
Finally as a disclaimer, I am not a
clinician nor do I claim to be any kind of expert in the field. I will
share my own points of view as honestly and openly as I can and this may
upset some people or cause offence. Please note that I in no way intend
to offend anyone and as I learn more I may change my views on certain
points. That is parenthood for you and I make no bones about it. If you
don’t like what I say, leave. If you disagree with what I say, please
leave a comment. If you like what I say, come back and tell others.