Last year, round about this time I wrote an open letter to the doctor who had diagnosed my daughter with autism. Even though I don’t think that it really made a difference to the doctor, I do hope that posting something so personal about our journey might have comforted or supported a parent somewhere who possibly just got the news of an autism diagnosis.
Being a parent to an autistic child can be daunting, overwhelming and lonely. I say lonely, because even if you have a solid support system, nobody really knows how it feels. My hopes and aspirations for Kaylin are just as high, as for any of my other children, because I know my child and I know the potential she has. She was recently assessed, by an educational psychologist, and we were told that she is only capable of attending a “special” school, where they are taught a craft or trade, so they can get by in life. Well that was a kick in the gut, I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Because while everyone else is complaining about how expensive school uniforms are, or how the school that “Johny” is attending doesn’t offer enough extra curricular activities, I’m standing here thinking “what am I going to do?” So yes it’s lonely, daunting and overwhelming, but we as parents, we knuckle down and we get on with it. However, knowing that there is a community of people out there, medical professionals included, who are supportive, patient and understanding makes a world of difference!
There’s a saying that goes it take a village to raise a child, well it takes an informed, open minded and tolerant village to raise an autistic child.
Written by Gretchen Hendricks