I will always be thankful for acceptance

There was a story in the news recently that really upset me. It was about a singing sensation who had a very public meltdown. The media and it’s usual tinted approach reported this amazing and talented person had a tantrum. This report absolutely appalled me. It is well known this person has special needs. Considering it is Autism Awareness month it astounds me how small minded and judgemental people can be towards individuals with disabilities. Ignorance truly is bliss.

This reminded me of a shopping trip Andy and I had with the boys a couple of years ago. We had taken Jack and Daryl to Tesco to get some shopping for dinner. Everything was going well until we entered and realised Daryl hands were all sticky from the negotiation sweets we had given them in the car on the adventure to the supermarket. We wanted a smooth transition, because both my boys find transitions very hard. He required to have his hands washed.

Andy looked at me and asked
” Will you be ok with Jack?”
“Yeah of course I will”
I smiled and Daryl and Andy walked away to get cleaned up.

Jack and I collected a trolley and re-entered Tesco. I immediately saw his facial expression change to panic and anger. I tried to soothe him by telling him we wouldn’t be long and we were only in for a couple of things. My words weren’t registering, they weren’t helping and I wasn’t soothing him. He was having none of it. He then threw himself onto the cold Tesco floor and refused to get back up. He was lashing out at me, swearing and shouting.

It felt like an eternity and I could feel eyes boring into the back of my head. A quick glance at the audience confirmed the judgement. Eye rolling, tutting and shaking their heads at the young mum who apparently couldn’t control her child. I was too upset trying to make things better for my son I said nothing to them.

Jack has autism and huge sensory issues. This was torturous for him but I felt sometimes we just have to do things and get on with life. I won’t always be here to protect him from the eye rolling. Jack doesn’t care who is watching him or if he is getting a reaction. It has to run its course. No one can control a meltdown and it’s heartbreaking to watch.

It felt like it was going on forever when a Tesco assistant appeared beside me asking if I need help.  My pleading eyes must have gave me away even though I was shaking my head. With her kind words she managed to get jack off the floor. As she did, Andy and Daryl were walking towards me. We managed to finish our shopping without incident.

I will be forever grateful to that special woman in Tesco. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You probably have no idea what you did that day and how much you helped my son. It makes me truly thankful that there are still kind and understanding people in this world.

#autism awareness

13

My son is about to become a teenager next week and like any mother I’m filled with excitement and full of ideas for what his birthday should be like. There’s just one small catch however … Jack has autism and doesn’t even know it’s his birthday next week.

This is our story …..

I can remember when my 13th birthday was coming up. I can remember talking my parents into having a party. Getting all excited about picking a party outfit, what shoes to wear. Definitely not wearing hot pants and trainers however much me and my friends wanted to. No. We were going to get dressed up. My friends were coming… the boy I liked was invited and he was coming too. My 13th birthday party was in a nightclub, well an unders night out. Which meant crisps, sweeties and irn bru. It was a brilliant night. Cheesy dance music, friends and dancing. I got some amazing presents too…. I have some brilliant memories.

My first born is about to turn 13 next month, he’ll officially be a teenager. He should be about to do exams and make friends for life. However my son has autism, adhd and global development delay. He hates loud noises, socialising and surprises. Well unless it’s on his terms. I’m about to plan his 13th birthday arrangements and I’m struggling. I don’t want to upset or stress him out on his Birthday.

You see autism is a struggle at times. It’s completely different worlds that collide at certain points. At the moment there is plenty of autism awareness going on but I don’t think there is much autism understanding. My son Jack swears a lot, he hits and would think nothing of just running away from me. Whether that would be onto a busy road or towards any other danger no matter how much we try to teach him about road safety and stranger danger amongst other things.

Looking forward to Jack’s 13th birthday and how differently things are for both of us. Jacks perfect birthday would be sitting on his new tablet that we have got him and ignoring the world go by. Jack has no idea it’s his Birthday on the 4th of May and I was worried about people coming to mine.Jack’s biggest worry is interaction with other children and adults. So much so that if he thought he was having a party he would be anxious about it until the time came which in turn affects his behaviour mood and every single person around him.