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Autism: Not Just a Label

April is National Autism Awareness Month.

Terrifying, brilliant, exhausting, heart breaking, panic, the list of words to try and explain how autism affects those who live with autism is endless and its life changing.

Most parents are able to look back prior to the diagnosis and pinpoint specific moments where they could see something wasn’t quite as it maybe should have been.

Naturally in these early years you want to assume everything is okay and its perhaps just a phase but as time passes and these moments become more regular, inevitably an appointment with your child’s doctor isn’t far away.

Diagnosis of Autism can be shocking, heart breaking and upsetting but these are normal and although the worry is always there as a parent you learn to adapt and embrace how unique your child is. 

Every single day you may be met with the same challenging situations and some new, and as a person you will change as your child does. You will become stronger and at moments you may feel totally helpless but its these very moments that will make you stronger and dare I say a better person. 

You will have a million questions and the most common one is why? With time though you will turn that question on its head and replace it with why not?

Autism is a huge spectrum and impossible to treat one the same as another so getting advise can be hard buts it healthy to exchange situations with others in the same boat and vent a little.

The number one worry with any parent living with autism is what the future holds, will you live long enough to help and guide your child until they are old enough to manage by themselves, will they lead a normal life and will others treat them bad when they grow up.

These are all questions that unfortunately cannot be answered. The same question any parent would have with any child but as a parent of a child on the spectrum it becomes more of a worry. These worries can consume your daily life and care is needed to manage these moments. 

Taking time to yourself can seem impossible but there are plenty of small moments you can grab during the day which are important in order to keep a small balance.

Autism can seem like a life sentence but it doesn’t need to be looked at like this and with change you will start to notice some amazing changes, even the smallest things can become so significant and the pleasure taken from that moment is priceless.

You will also have many bad days but try not to take it to heart and allow yourself to observe rather than react. Nobody is perfect and if in some small way we can watch and guide without being judgmental the stress levels will lessen and your life will improve. Of course we are only human and there will be days where you want to scream.

Autism is alike a puzzle, some days you will do better than others but acceptance is key, the world is filled with many people with many different issues, pay less attention to what society projects and more on what life really is.

Autism can be despairing but beautiful as well. 

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