Thursday 30 April 2020

Top AutismAwareness posts to mark the end of Autism Awareness Month

David Ziplines the Canadian Rockies

It's the end of World Autism Awareness Month.  Along with millions of people worldwide, I am, always, hopeful that the week will help highlight what autism is and is not and how fabulous people with autism (like two of my kids) are and also how challenging life can be for them and those who care for them sometimes.   The hope is that awareness leads to acceptance - that's the real goal. So here's my top five autism awareness posts from my over the last year.

When I first thought my son might be different

Anthony never even said the word 'mum' never mind asking for a story. Or asking for anything else for that matter. He didn't talk at all. He wasn’t interested in listening to a story - I’d be lucky if I could get them to sit on my lap to look at a book.

And as I listened to the conversation around me, I realised a lot of the kids were saying an awful lot more than my own. Not hard really when your kid doesn't say anything. Looking back, that was the first time I thought 'crikey my kids not doing that'. It wouldn’t be the last. Read about the time when I first thought my son might be different.

How we took our pre-verbal autistic son zip-lining across the Canadian Rockies

To many who know him, the idea of taking our eight year old autistic son zip lining, never mind zip lining across waterfalls and canyons, could seem crazy. David’s verbal skills are limited to a few, often stinted or hard to make out, words.

And it’s pretty much the same with the language he listens too. He’ll respond to a few key words, and that’s if he thinks he should be responding. He has sensory challenges that means he can find it difficult to cope with certain fabrics and most of all, he’s very unsure of the unknown.

But I know David. I knew he would absolutely love zip lining if we could get him to do it. Read about how being autistic and pre-verbal didn't stop us taking our son zip lining across the Canadian Rockies.

Why the right school is so important for our autistic son

My son Anthony is now 11 years old. He has been going to school for seven years. After each holiday he cried several times a day, several days before his first day back at school. Let's just say half of Christmas was miserable for him.

Sometimes when he’d cry the night before school restarted, I counted us lucky. Anthony was at least able to go to a school. There are many kids out there like Anthony, who has autism and ADHD, who simply don't have a school they can attend.

 Sometimes I'd get annoyed - "For goodness sake Anthony, you are eight years old now. Get over it now," I'd think... or say. Even though I knew that was the wrong attitude.  But when he found a school that was different, like he was different, everything changed.

Read about how for the first time in his life, he didn't cry about going back to school.

The challenges of friendship - Why Minecraft is better than Fortnite

Warning: This isn't a gaming post ;-) Despite its appearances, its title and indeed my continuous rant that games and tech benefit my kids - this one isn’t about that. It’s about an 11-year-old autistic boy who has suddenly realised he might like a friend.

 He seems very happy at home and spends a lot of time on YouTube watching videos of people playing video games and sports too. Fortnite had always been a popular thing to watch as he found it particularly hilarious. Then all of a sudden, he popped out with "Well I don’t like Fortnite anymore, it’s not the best. Minecraft is much better."

Find out about why Minecraft is suddenly better than Fortnite and how friendships are particularly challenging for autistic kids.

A lot of autistic people have restricted diets - even during a lockdown

David in fact eats only one thing for breakfast. Shreddies. He's not completely fussy, he will eat the shops own brand, but if he's not presented with a bowl of brown checked squares in the morning, he won't eat. People think he'll eventually get hungry and eat. He won't.

 He is so sensory and routine driven that he cannot allow himself to eat anything else. This is just one example of us needing a specific product to feed our kids. So imagine my horror as I go to the shops and start find empty shelves?

Read about his restricted diet when there was panic buying.


  1. Great collection of posts! I especially love the zip lining! Thanks so much for linking up with #KCACOLS, hope you join in again next time x

  2. These are very useful posts and perfect for Autism Awareness Month. I have heard of minecraft but not fortnite. My girls have't played these games yet. They are obsessed with Roblox though. Thanks for joining us at #kcacols x

  3. Really useful posts. Restricted diets and empty supermarket shelves is a huge challenge. Thankfully I had friends working at a local supermarket who managed to help me out but was really worried about my son not getting any food for a while, so glad the shelves seem to be full again. #SpectrumSunday


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