Alison Neil, Parent Carer from Glasgow

AAlison Neillison Neil lives with Paul, her partner of 17 years and their 4 children. Liam 14 and twins Erin and Aiden 11 are on the Autistic spectrum. Anthony 3 does not have a diagnosis of Autism but Alison told us that Autism is always at the back of her mind.

Alison contacted Autism Daily Newscast as she wanted to share with our readers what life is like for her as a full time carer to her children.  We decided to share this with you on Christmas day.

Liam was diagnosed at age 3 with Autism.

Alison told us:

“He was saying some words like dog, bath and juice just before his 1st birthday. But when he got his MMR at 14 months it all changed didn’t notice it right away but by 17 months he cried a lot and stopped saying words”

This is when Alison approached her Health Visitor and Liam was referred just before his 3rd birthday.

Alison told us that she had never heard of Autism until then.

Liam attends a specialist school and is very happy there.

Erin and Aiden were referred earlier than Liam as Alison told us that she knew the signs to look for this time. They were diagnosed with Autism at 2 1/2 and they both attended a special needs nursery. Aiden is non-verbal.

“Aiden is severely autistic while Erin’s autism is mild.”

Alison told us that Erin moved on after nursery to her big brother Liam’s school but that Aiden is still at the same school that he attended when he was 3 and a half.

Alison told us that Aiden has very sensitive hearing and that he used to hit his face a lot. Due to this he started to wear ear defenders in August 2009 and have made a huge difference to his quality of life.

Autism Daily Newscast asked Alison how they all cope during the school holidays and especially over the Christmas break.

She told us:

“As the kids get older coping with school holidays has become easier. Liam and Erin have speech and can tell us what’s wrong; Aiden over the past year has started writing stuff down to let us know what he wants. It’s mostly what he wants to watch on his pc, or what he would like to eat. This has helped with his frustration a lot.”

Alison told us that Aiden asked for a white IPad for Christmas. She explained that this is huge progress as usually she has to watch and see what he is looking for on his computer to get an idea for presents.

Alison’s final words are:

“Life for us is tough. But we’re a strong couple. Autism is all we know. Our kids mean the world to us.”

You can follow Alison on twitter