Of course, the vast majority of people are well-meaning, but, unless they have personal experience, it can be difficult to know what to say, how to react to the news. There are several things that people will say to parents when they hear of their child's diagnosis - here are some examples and suggestions of things to try instead!
Ultimately, TippyTalk's mission is to create platforms that encourage social communication independence for people living with nonverbal disorders. That independence is something that those of us without verbal disabilities take for granted, but nurturing it is critical to connect people with verbal disabilities to the world.
Now that Brody is nearly 5, I have finally got used to the fact that Global Development Delay (GDD) doesn't mean "may catch up" for us. It's forever. And because he is still primarily undiagnosed, despite an autism and epilepsy diagnosis (as well as a few others), GDD seems to be moving on to a new "catch all" term - learning disability.
Transitions to adulthood are a vital area where much more needs to be done. There is very little information on whether children find it easier to work in certain professions (for example ones where routine and structure is required). Only by learning more about how autistic children do later in life can we make sure that their education is sufficiently tailored to maximise the chances of them entering the workplace successfully. Only a combination of more resources, more dedication, more support and more understanding will help ensure that every autistic child lives a life worth living.
Some three and half years later when I had received an autism diagnosis for Joseph, I felt like my world was about to end and felt angry that once again, life wasn't as simple as it should be. It wasn't a case of me only just falling in love with my son and then falling out of love with him because he had a label.
I looked at him with great pride that he had the ability to sing after so many years of him not being able to communicate in any way and I saw happiness but he was oblivious to what was going on and what any of it meant. I reflected on that sound piece of advice I had previously been furnished with.
So now, here I go again and I suppose ultimately and selfishly I wanted to feel I have gained something from my ramblings but equally if I can help others in similar situations that would be fantastic. Some of what has already been written was done with tears and some with laughter and hopefully you will see the rollercoaster life that we lead in living with autism.