9 years ago I naively thought parenting would be relatively simple and for the first part it really was. My son was an easy baby and in many was he seemed ahead, learning letters and numbers from his pushchair at 15 months old, singing hundreds of songs. Once he hit 2 things started to go backwards. “Its just a phase” we were told, but by 3 we knew something wasn’t right.
One year later he was finally diagnosed with autism. “There is no cure” we were told. “You just have to hope for the best, wonderful things do happen.” To date I think its about the worst advice I have ever received and am thankful that we never took it. For us most things our son has achieved so far has been the result of extreme perseverance, careful planning and often extraordinary amounts of effort both on his part and everyone involved in his care.
Regardless of the diagnosis he is still our awesome little boy we have been lucky enough to share some pretty amazing, sometimes crazy and plain daft moments with our boy over the last 9 years. Its fair to say we have learnt a lot more that we ever expected from being parents, we have researched, tried all sorts of therapies and solutions, asked for so much help and “better advice” from experts but mostly we just about made it through with the help of each other, our family and friends.
We have celebrated every tiny milestone reached and cried over the ones we still very much want to achieve. We have a long way to go to be able to do some things that come easily and naturally to others like learning to have a conversation, read, follow basic instructions or even sit through an film at the cinema. We have marveled at wonder at his incredible climbing skills and strength earning him the nickname spiderman.
Some time last year spiderman got too clever at climbing (among other things) his lovely specialist school who were doing there best could no longer keep him safe. After much searching and more rejections than I could count (all the schools in our county plus many further afield) he is now at a new school on a 52 week placement with 2 to 1 support throughout his waking day. Our time with our son now is so precious we look forward to our weekend visits and bringing him home.
Every day I wake up thinking about how he is and what I can do to help him and children and adults with neurological conditions lead better and more fulfilling lives and that is what has inspired this site.
So Happy 9th Birthday my boy, I am looking forward to many more fun and sometimes crazy moments with you, thank you for inspiring me to see things differently and to set up Technology for good. Together we can create and share technology that will make a real difference to people and their families who face tough challenges.
Technology for Good is a Community Think Tank for creating and sharing ideas that will help people living with neurological conditions live better lives. We would love you to get in touch or find out more here
Other ways to Connect with Technology for Good – Community Think Tank