Most of you know my eldest child at home is a boy who’s 12, Leon and as it is World Autism Awareness Day i felt now is a good time to open up this part of our lives.
Leon is on the Autistic Spectrum, its hard to explain exactly where, its probably easier to reveal some of his difficulties and strengths.
Leon has obssessions, racing cars & dinosaurs are his main ones, he will line his cars up in a row a very neat perfectly positioned road and will go absolutely mental if it gets ruined or moved even slightly.
He is also very vulnerable, the best way to explain it is he doesn’t have that inner voice that helps you reason if something is a good idea, goes through consequences with you, so he is very impulsive and outright a danger to himself sometimes, at 12, 13 in August he still can’t reliably cross a road alone, he also struggles with anyone but himself as in he believes if he crosses a road for example that the car should stop for him, he has no concept that if its going too fast it simply can’t stop in time.
Food is another big issue, he has a problem with textures, so has turned very fussy based on textures of different foods.
Its worth saying that Leon has sensory disabilities too, he was born completely deaf, with no left ear canal and that ear although it looks like an ear is alot smaller and scrunched up. He suffered with glue ear and repeated ear infections and burst eardrum in his good ear right up until very recently, his hearing now stands at approximately 20% of a hearing persons, although you would never know as he lip reads so well.
This has led on to his other senses compensating and therefore they are alot more sensitive than say mine, so textures have become a problem.
He also suffers with ADHD and is on medication for this as without he becomes a complete danger to himself, the compulsiveness of the hyperactivity combined with the lack of the inner voice of reasoning means without medication he would probably end up in casualty often!
To be completely honest i worry for his future and if he can function as an adult in the adult world and hold down a job etc and mix with people as he is like the stereotype of Autism he is a loner in the main part and not good with physically showing affection, he adores racing cars and at the minute wants to build Ferrari F1 cars, even though i’ve explained the factory is in Italy!
So there you have it…a basic idea of my son’s struggle with living with Autism and as a family i’m sure you can now envisage how it impacts on almost every aspect of our lives as well as his.
Thanks for reading this very personal post