So recently I have gone through a period of low energy.
An exhausted autism parent and an exhausted autism advocate.
Exhausted because every time I mentioned supplements or the therapies we do for James or my positivity surrounding my son and his autism I was met with hate. So much hate.
Rewind back to when James was diagnosed in February 2016.
I searched google.
I searched Facebook.
I searched Instagram.
I searched my local area.
I searched the local autism community.
I needed help, support and guidance.
Majority of the time I was met with negativity.
Rigidity from parents, carers, therapists, and other supports and aids.
I was horrified.
People would tell me things like, 'it doesn't get better it gets worse'.
I would ask and reference my newly found findings on gut health. I wanted to know about other therapies available ... I wish I had of taken photos of their faces! I can't even remember the doubtful words that would spring from their mouths but the looks upon their faces have never left my mind.
This was the start of my journey as an autism parent.
I was astonished at the lack of respect for the child at hand.
Majority of the people I encountered were happy with the 'label'. The label had been smacked on that child's forehead and they were just going to except what the textbook says. For them nothing was going to get better. Nothing in their minds was going to work for their child, yet they weren't prepared to try.
I spent a few weeks mourning, sad and felt unsupported.
Then I decided I was going to prove to the world how worthy my son is. I wanted to show the world what autistics can do with the right love, support, therapies and guidance.
I was going to do 'whatever it takes' for James and all the other beautiful minds that need a chance.
So I started writing. Documenting everything we were doing.
When I started documenting our journey I was met with more hate and disapproval. I was the new kid on the block.
I was abused through my social media networks by autism mums.
The more James changed and developed the more hate I got. The more positivity I showed the more I got things like, 'he's not autistic', 'your doing all this for attention', 'your a fraud' blah blah blah blah. I even had a autism parent going around the loops having people block me because they thought I wasn't genuine.
It hurt. But I was determined to rise above.
So my non- verbal son became verbal.
My son who had no expressive or receptive communication started communicating.
The child that hid away from other children started interacting.
The child that threw toys because he had no idea how to play with them started functional play.
This didn't just happen on its own.
My husband and I have dedicated our time, money and most importantly our love to flourishing our child.
We do therapy.
We encourage social interaction.
We limit anxiety.
We use supplements.
We have sensory diets in place.
We do it all.
We don't stop.
So I have been advocating for a while now.
I've seen a lot of negativity now, but nothing like the last few weeks.
I have seen exclusion at its finest and seen other autism mums dismiss and disrespect other autism parents by shaming the things they are doing for their children.
This time It got me down but it also reminded me of why I do this.....
I do this to show the world the beauty of autism.
I want to give hope, spread love and offer support.
We must remember not every child is the same.
All autistics are different just like in the neurotypical world.
Every single person is different.
What works for one, won't work for the other.
Just because Jo blow down the road does ABA and nothing else doesn't mean that's right for your child.
Find what fits your child. Don't stop till you find the right therapy, the right therapist the right diet .... the right everything.
You know your child best.
You can never fail by trying.