As previously written Fin was a happy content baby. He didn’t really cry. He knew who his Mum was though, and would get fretful if he couldn’t see me.
I had started to wonder about Autism as at 6 months, I noticed some differences. Not enough to be unduly alarmed as he is a boy. And well the truth is boys are born lazy.
When it was time for tummy time, at the mums and tots group. I would lay him on his tummy and as the other babies kicked and cooed, Finley would lay completely still. No reaction. Oh apart from one. He would trump like mad. He really was quite content, wherever he was. As long as i was there too.
He wasn’t reaching his milestones.
Physically yes! He sat up, crawled and walked quite early. But as a baby, he wasn’t interested in toys, gripping them, chewing them. This didn’t happen.
I would put him in his bouncy baby chair whilst i did the housework. When I checked on him he would be laughing at the rays of sunlight, shining in the window. And his eyes would follow the shadows on the walls. He loved laying on the floor looking at his hands, but later i was to discover he was looking at how the sun moved between his fingers, and how warm the sun was on his face, and this was what he loved so he was happy.
At 12 months when Finley started to walk, his interests were the washing machine and the hoover, he loved watching the repetitive motion of the cycle going round and round, his face pressed against the glass, and taking the front off the hoover. That was fun, searching for missing parts of hoover front. He had no interest in toys, or how they worked. If they did nothing, then what was the point of them?
At 2, Well they say the terrible twos.
Finley didn’t have tantrums, or throw his toys, or shout and scream, or have the I wants. Now you may think wow, you had it easy then, No.
For me to see his obvious difference, the fact that as other children ran about the park trying out the swings and slide, playing together, learning turn taking. Laughing and crying being kids.
Then over in the corner away from the others, playing in his own world. Standing out like a beacon, the odd one out. My boy, running his hands along the metal bars of the outer barrier, stopping to laugh at the wind rushing through the trees, making the leaves rustle. Watching the spiders weave their webs in tiny crevices. He was completely happy in his own world. A non speaking silent world.
He would watch the other children play and smile. But Finley has only ever played alongside other children. He doesn't join in, because he doesn't know how too. Finley has to be taught how to interact with other children.
Finley first spoke when he was 5 years old. He wasnt mute though. He had his own words to express his joy. He was so lovely. He would sit on my lap speaking in his own language expressing his happiness, I miss those words,
Gibby Gibby, Goodygare, Gula, gabbagare. He liked a G.
When Fin was officially diagnosed with Autism at the age of 2 years and 5 months, i was devestated, I didn’t want him to have to go through the pain of knowing he was different. But you see, to him he doesn't see that. He knows he’s different, but it’s the only way he knows. And he loves it.
I on the other hand.... for a long time I felt guilty. I felt as though I was responsible, like I had given him Autism. It takes a while for those feelings to go.
Now if someone told me today, what if we could go back in time, what if we could give you your son without Autism, what then?
I know my answer!
I know straight away. If you are going to give me back my child without Autism, then he wont be my son. Yes Autism is a part of him, but Autism is part of his personality. You will take away Finley if you remove Autism.
It is a difficult journey, and I believe that these children are called special because that is what they are. They are different. And they are beautiful. And they are expressive. And they are fighters. And they are unique. My son is always learning, always processing new information.
Fin sees the world from a different angle, and I love that I can share in his world.
Yes, there are so many things about Autism that are difficult, so much learning and patience needed. Schools, Appointments, Therapies, Medications, Associated conditions, Endless paperwork, Meetings, Time. Etc.
But he is my child. And I will continue to help him in anyway I can. So in answer to the question. Would I take away the Autism.
No I would not.
He isn’t malfunctioning, he is working perfectly.