Money Wellness
personal picture of Jess & Beau
category iconMoney Wellness
calendar icon02 Apr 2023

National Autism Day 2nd April - A personal perspective on living with autism

Today is National Autism Day, a very special for my family and most importantly my son Beau.

Beau turned 4 in January of this year and will be starting school in September. A time that can be so exciting for most but completely nerve wracking for others. Beau was diagnosed with non-verbal Autism last year but as his parents we have known he was special for much longer than that. We are currently awaiting the outcome of his Education, Health & Care plan which will detail the extra support he will receive to help him get through school. With this we hope that he will flourish.

Autism is an invisible disability which effects people developmentally. It can impact how people communicate and interact with the world. Being autistic means the brain works differently to others.

Beau’s autism does not define him and we never want him to be treated differently to anyone else, however, he has his quirks and he has his own ways which should be acknowledged and most of all accepted.

I’ve written down some things about Beau that I would love to share with you all:

He is plane obsessed! His favourite thing to do is plane watch at the airport and look through his big book of planes to match the ones he has seen / the model he is playing with.

He doesn’t understand most things that we say to him but can figure out a game / way around something in a matter of minutes. He is a very clever little boy & so inquisitive!

Beau can spell words (on his own terms) with his foam letters and can align them into the alphabet incredibly quickly. He can also line his numbers 1 – 20 and sometimes even does it backwards!

He doesn’t play with toys in a typical manner but makes us laugh so much with his parade lines he creates all around the house usually made up of every type of plane known to man or the entire Toy Story cast.

He is super loud all through the day making lots of wonderful noises, although he is non-verbal, we hope that one day he may speak but have come to terms with the fact that he may not. We use choice boards to help Beau communicate when he needs something specific & are currently trying to help him with pointing, again to make life easier for him and ease some of his frustrations.

He is extremely cautious and a little clumsy at times due to his difficulties with sensory processing, but he shows so much bravery in trying to climb up on to slides and loves to whiz down them. On the other side Beau has no sense of danger which can make it difficult when we are out and about. He can have “meltdowns” due to sensory overload which we can do nothing for other than to hold him tight until it passes.

Beau goes to nursery 3 days a week; he doesn’t interact much with the other children but he loves to be there. We are so thankful everyday for his key workers and the incredible work they have put in to give Beau a chance at mainstream school.

He flaps his arms and kicks his leg when he is excited / happy, this is called stimming and it’s what Beau needs to do to regulate his feelings / release a sensory overload.

Beau is happy, he loves his life & although he has no words / limited means of communication there is no doubt in our mind that he knows how much he is loved, cherished, and supported. He is the most loving, beautiful happy little soul.

It has been a learning journey for myself and Beau’s Dad Jon. We have had to learn to parent differently. We can see signs of meltdowns before they come and try our best to ease the situation before it overwhelms Beau. We have immersed ourselves in becoming advocates for Autism and have been educating ourselves to ensure we are adapting everyday to create a world in which neurodiverse people are comfortable.

I am sharing our story because often the world will tell you that Autism is negative. It is difficult at times, yes, especially for Beau who has so many hurdles to jump every single day just to get through “normal” everyday tasks, but change is required from everyone, and the fear should be removed. Beau has taught us to celebrate every win no matter how big or small. Recently he has learned to wave and it’s probably the best thing that we as parents have ever seen. 😊

By showing more kindness, patience, and empathy we can all help to develop an inclusive world.

Our hopes for the future are that Beau will be accepted as his whole self by his peers at school. When he finishes school, we hope he will be independent and confident to do whatever it is he chooses to do. We are so proud of him and all that he is and celebrate him every day, not just this week 😊

 

 

 

Avatar of Caroline Chell

Caroline Chell

Caroline has worked in financial communications for more than 10 years, writing content on subjects such as pensions, mortgages, loans and credit cards, as well as stockbroking and investment advice.

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