Beth, Bill and Bridie with Minka the wonder dog

Beth, Bill and Bridie with Minka the wonder dog

I’ve been wanting to write down a bit of a diary about our amazing  journey since we first got our diagnosis 8 years ago for a couple of reasons.  Firstly it would be lovely to have a record to see how far we’ve come. Secondly, I’m egotistical enough to think that some people might actually want to read about our life, perhaps learn from some of our mistakes (and hopefully some of our successes too) and have a bit of a laugh along the way.

I know that I’ve read (devoured more like) books that have inspired me to better my life, to better my daughter’s life and to not sit down and accept that this is it. I hope that I will do the same for others. I certainly don’t profess to have all the answers but at least I feel like I’m giving 100% to try and find them.

In the interests of privacy I had originally decided to change the names of the people in my entries.  I came up with some names that were a bit like soap opera names and for those of you who already know me would know that makes it right up my alley! In the end I found it was just too hard to enjoy writing my story and have to keep remembering what our names were. I’ve decided instead to use first names only and if we must use last names I’ll use fake ones.   And the therapies, schools  and businesses that are mentioned are real also, if needed, further information will  be available if requested.

So let me introduce myself. My name is Sarah and I am married to Paul with 3 beautiful children. Beth who’s 10 (she’s our extra special gift), Bill who’s 7, our wonderful middle child, the only boy, and Bridie who’s 4, the devil in disguise.  I was pregnant with Bill when Beth was diagnosed. I was in a midwife appointment and the midwife (who had delivered Beth) was asking me about how she was. I had a bit of a nervous giggle and replied – oh God, she’s a bloody monster – in a joking tone. It’s hard to admit that your child is out of control, what a terrible mother I must have been, other’s could cope really well with tantrums, why couldn’t I. She called the doctor in and when I went through with Jeff all that was happening he said then and there that perhaps she was autistic.

Well, being a tv and movie addict all my life, my first thought was the little girl in the Elvis movie, you know the Mary Tyler Moore one where she’s a nun? Change of Habit. That girl screams and screams but eventually Elvis picks her up, rocks her and sings to her and she quietens right down. Well really, who wouldn’t if Elvis sang to you! I answered that no, Beth doesn’t rock and sit in the corner, she’s also very affectionate and really, no autistic child ever wants to hug people do they?! Jeff explained about the very very wide spectrum, arranged a referral and ever since then it’s changed our lives in unimaginable ways.

We’ve tried various therapies, currently we’re doing speech and occupational therapy every second Thursday. We’re also starting a new biochemical treatment which is to do with the metals that are in the body. I’ve heard the theories about immunisations before and always thought that they didn’t apply to us as Beth never regressed, she was always the way she is but I never thought about the fact that they give new born babies an injection on the very first day they’re born. They assume that all babies are born with a healthy immune system and as Beth was born 7 1/2 weeks premature she more than likely didn’t. Of course that’s not saying at all that all therapies work for all autistic kids, after all, they’re all autistic for many different reasons but some do and as long as they’re not invasive and painless then really we’ve got nothing to lose. Over the next few days I’ll start writing about the therapy that we’re embarking on, as I said, if nothing else it’s a good record of what we’ve tried and what is working or not. If I can improve Beth’s life by 10% then I’ll grab it with both hands and move on up to the next rung. I hope that some of you that get a chance to read this will join me on this journey, it’s much more fun with an audience!

About Sarah

Mother of an autistic child wanting to write about my personal experiences
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