On Saturday it will be one entire year since HRH was diagnosed with autism. It feels like a lifetime ago, it is a lifetime ago. Our lives have changed so much in this year, but I can honestly say it has been a good change, overall.
Well, ok, I could have done without the reams of paperwork, the ongoing reams of paperwork! I have filled out more application forms in the last year than I thought possible. I suppose we could have done without the general shock and upset that went with the diagnosis initially. It was a lot to get our heads around at the time, more so because we had to explain what autism meant to everyone else when we really didn’t know ourselves. There was a steep learning curve but now the jargon is second nature to us.
It hasn’t all been rosy of course, the battle for services in this country is beyond ridiculous. The waiting lists have to be experienced to be believed and we have not recieved any help by way of Occupational Therapy or Speech Therapy. None!
His progress in the last year far outweighs the stress that went with it. He was non-verbal, not even attempting any sound and now he has several words that he uses often. He babbles and chatters non-stop and eventually that baby talk will turn into words, it is just happening later for him than it does for other children.
He has our Fabulous Royal Advisor, who loves him almost as much as we do. We are also very lucky to have great support in our extended family and they all accept HRH exactly as he is, no questions or judgements on any of us. The Royal Advisor, family support and the Facebook support group are what have gotten us through the rough times in one piece.
But it boils down to this: I don’t think I could bear NOT knowing he had autism. HRH already had autism and in this case ignorance was not bliss. For us, the stress of not knowing how to help our son was far greater and diagnosis brought some relief. A year on I can be genuinely grateful that we found out when we did because it gave us direction on how to help him. We have seen such incredible changes in the last year, he has worked very hard, as we all have.
HRH will be three next month. We won’t be having a party, he hates singing and is terrified of candles but that doesn’t upset me. For now this is how it is, this is how he is, but in a few years……………..who knows!
For anyone starting out on this journey, take heart and have courage. It is hard, no doubt about it, but what you get back from your child is priceless.
*photo credit google images