I know that grief and mourning are usually words only associated with the loss of someone who has died but I went through a grieving process when I came to terms with having a child diagnosed with autism. In the initial months after Jesse’s diagnosis I was emotionally up and down like a yo-yo. I embraced wholeheartedly the new path we were to travel but I grieved for the mum I had planned to be. I grieved for the loss of the expectations and dreams I had for Jesse. I grieved for the loss of special milestones that parents of neuro typical children get to experience. And, as Jesse gets older I grieve for the emotional and mental connection that I imagined I would have with my son at this age.
A mother’s intuition is rarely wrong and never more so than when it comes to their babies. Over the past few years I’ve had many discussions with parents, especially mum’s, children with autism and they all seem to have had an ‘aha’ moment. That moment long before the diagnosis when you know deep in your core, your soul, that something is just not quite right with your child.
Every child wander’s and every parent has had that moment of panic in a shopping centre or playground when they lose sight of their child. Having a child with autism makes these times a little more frequent and a lot more scarier. This has been more prevalent lately with multiple news stories around the world reporting autistic boys wandering off, getting lost for days and even tragically dying. As soon as Jesse could walk he was wandering.
Trying to help Jesse strengthen his social skills has been a tough one. As an only child with two very busy working parents, it’s hard to find a lot of time to set up play dates. Not to mention that most kids Jesse’s age get tired of Jesse’s demanding and different ways.Jesse likes to dictate what to play and exactly how to play it, which usually ends up being quite a long-winded process that most kids don’t stick around for. So, because of this, the communication difficulty and tendency to meltdown when misunderstood, Jesse usually ends up playing alone.