I remember when you were born, our first child, our boy, our son. We were filled with hopes and dreams for you, Daddy wanted you to be an Arsenal striker, fighter pilot and doctor all rolled into one (it's OK, he wasn't serious, well maybe not about the fighter pilot bit...). But what we wanted most for you was to be yourself.
Many parents have asked that I use the term 'with autism' rather than 'autistic', as they feel that they are 'labeling' their child. I do not see it in that way. No matter if you say 'autistic' or 'with autism', or even 'on the spectrum', ultimately they all mean the same thing, well they do to me anyway.
I'm sad. That my husband and I have to be the perfect parents 24/7 otherwise all hell breaks loose. And it does. On a regular basis. Because we can barely be good enough parents most days on this little sleep and this much stress. In my darkest moments I wonder if my marriage is strong enough to survive autism.
David Cameron has spoken of his belief in a 'compassionate nation' - one that protects the most vulnerable. If his Government is serious about this, they need to make sure that they protect all disability benefits and housing benefit for younger disabled people. Only then will people on the autism spectrum receive the support they need to live independent and fulfilling lives.