When I found out my daughter had autism nothing changed. I guess I was lucky that I googled her lack of progress and was proactive in seeking some kind of diagnosis or help. I left the Child Development Centre with a small signposting pack of information but when I closed my front door nothing was different. My daughter was exactly the same to me, she just had a label.
When the Hughes family discover their youngest son has autism, everything changes.
#TheAWord. Tonight. 9pm. BBC One.
This new TV show, The A Word, makes me feel nervous, my daughter is never usually represented in these sorts of shows as the spectrum is so wide they usually pick the “gifted” few. While she is really intelligent she is not verbal enough to be deemed savant and let’s face it this is what TV likes. I think this show will be fine despite my reservations, I know it’s going to have massive backing from big autism charities so hopefully they’ll get most of right.
Autism isn’t just about diagnosis, I know this is the part which can easily get sensationalized watching the parent “fall apart and deal with it.” I might add that I did neither, I also didn’t “grieve for the child I thought I’d have.” I know it sounds harsh but I want to slap these people and say look at your child, just look at them! Does this word..the A word…change them? No, it explains them.
Autism is not a tragedy.
Don’t get me wrong it can be ugly, it has some very dark moments which can test you, push you further than you thought possible but there are also moments of sheer joy and beauty. Your child is still exactly the same person as before and deserves to be treated that way not as anything less or damaged, you are the one who changes because as well as being a parent you become their advocate and you need to get your sleeves rolled up ready for the fights you’ll invariably face with health and education…but keep being their parent first.
I will watch the A-word and hopefully it’ll spread a bit more awareness which is something I will always celebrate, I hope you do too.
Different not less – Temple Grandin
Post watch review- I thought it was ok, maybe a bit weird how sexualised it was considering the story centres around a 5 year old I know they were trying to make the point that life goes on but…whatever. I thought the party scene was done really well and it was like my daughter was there, however, did they really not know that their child at 5 would not enjoy that kind of party?? Ok I’ll let it go. Did they really have to give him a gift? This is rare in the autistic community, really rare and perpetuates the Rain Man myth that I think is just about fading away. Anyway…I liked that they gave him eye contact as this is something that many don’t have but many do, I “liked” the slap, I had one his week as I blogged about before so I really recognised it.
I will watch again next week, I didn’t hate it and I’m interested to see where it goes…I imagine towards the parental acceptance (one would hope!)