When the midwife hands you a small squealing bundle after a few hours of what is possibly the most intense pain you have ever endured, the reaction is unspoken and almost universal. You count the tiny fingers extending towards your warmth, count the toes, and then, you look into the eyes of a being you’ve produced, and you instantly fall in love.
Every new parent naturally makes a note of those little milestones in their child’s development. First smile, gurgle, word, tooth, but nothing prepares you for knowing that something is not ‘quite right’. No-one prepares any parent for a child who is a little different to what good parenting handbooks advise.
Jo Worgan, from Lancaster, UK , mother of six year old Stephen and five year old Tom, knows that feeling all too well. Tom was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in August of 2011.
Talking exclusively to Autism Daily Newscast, Joe said:
“Many parents struggle on their own and many aren’t given help or support to deal with the news. I decided that writing about it in a blog, would maybe help other parents feel that they weren’t so isolated. That someone else out there was going through similar experiences.
I qualified as a nurse in 2003, and became a senior Renal dialysis nurse in 2006, but still all the new information the experts kept throwing at me was very difficult to understand. There’s so much medical jargon and new information to take in.”
“We were incredibly lucky to be honest that Tom’s ASD was picked up pretty quickly when he went to nursery, I knew something wasn’t right, and there was always the word Autism at the back of my mind. We were given an outreach worker, who gave us the coping mechanisms we needed to survive as a family unit.”
Refreshing and down to earth, Jo writes in this week’s column :
“Tom has struggled due to changes of routine and has exhibited lots of challenging behaviour but thankfully having a supportive family and a respite service for disabled children, we have survived so far.”
Having support is what is most important, I feel.”
Tom is now in an Autism specific school and thriving with the love and support of Jo and family:
“I really want parents to know that they are not alone in this, there are always others out there, and lots of support you can get, especially from people who have been through similar experiences.”
‘ My Life with Tom, Living With Autism‘ is her second book and a culmination of her blog posts, and available to download on Kindle now. Her first book, Life on the Spectrum. The Preschool years, is also available from Amazon Kindle.