So this is going to be a bit of a different post to normal. I wanted to do a video, but I don’t think I’m articulate enough to convey it on a camera.
I’ve been toying with the idea of talking about something so, so personal to me, but I feel like I need to, just to know if there’s anyone who can share these experiences with us.
I wanted to talk about Isla. Isla is 3 and nearly 5 months. Isla loves spinning around, she loves putting things in order, and more than anything, she love love loves numbers. She can line the alphabet up in order with her flashcards with ease, and she can count to 50. She loves Mickey Mouse, and she loves Sofia the First, and she loves music too.
There are a couple of things Isla isn’t too fond of either – she hates the sound of the hair dryer and she doesn’t like how loud the hoover is. She’s not too keen on sleeping and she’s a pretty fussy eater. She doesn’t like it when we interrupt her playing with her number flashcards either, but that’s getting better.
What I’m basically trying to say is that, well, Isla is autistic. I still can’t say it out loud, and to be honest we’re all still trying to process this. It’s still so raw, and I feel… numb?
I mean, we knew – but it’s a totally different story when a clinical psychologist properly diagnoses your 3 year old. I know, I know it’s nothing that we can’t handle, and I know things could be a lot worse, but when it happens to your own child, it’s totally different isn’t it? Currently, I feel like a huge wave of sadness has washed over me, and more importantly, anguish at the fact that I can’t fix it – why can’t I fix my baby?
For the past two years I’ve been trying to figure out how, why, this has happened. Deep down, I know this isn’t my fault but I still find myself thinking, I ate nothing but healthy food when I was pregnant, I took those pregnancy vitamins, she was a perfectly normal baby, how could this happen?
I’ll be brief, because I could talk about this all day, going in circles about her. Isla’s speech is underdeveloped – after her 1st birthday, things seemed to regress and soon after, she didn’t say much at all. It’s only recently that she’s been saying words and very rarely, two word phrases. Her social skills aren’t where they ‘should’ be either but the nursery has been incredible in aiding her, because she now has a friend, and I’ve been told she’s very fond of playing chase a large group of children.
She loves giving kisses, and cuddles, and she is a genuinely happy little girl. The doctors have said they can’t really place her on the spectrum because she is so young and of course, I’m positive things will improve because she is still so little. I know she’s special. She’s so damn clever and she always amazes us with what she can do, every day.
I’ve been promised that there will be so much support around us now, particularly when it comes to school and I can’t be more grateful for that. I wanted her to experience mainstream school and I’ve been advised that it’s more than acceptable.
But I couldn’t be more thankful for the support closer to home. Adam has been my rock when it comes to Isla, though at times she’s made it seem a bit difficult, he’s always treated her like his own and I couldn’t imagine ever sharing her with anyone else – you’re incredible and you have supported us more than you will ever know. It’s been so much easier having my best friend with me to help stop the cracks from appearing, and I know you love her so much, and you are always, always there if and when we ever need you. The same can be said for my parents, because I would never be able to provide for Isla if it wasn’t for them.
I always think, I can’t wait for the day she says “I love you” or even “why” over and over and over, like she should do – I really can’t. I can’t wait til I can have a full blown conversation with her, and I’m sad because she’s at the age where she should be having hilarious, Facebook video worthy chats with us.
I probably sound like I’m giving a speech for an award, and I don’t mean for it to be – but as I said, I’m not articulate enough to put how I feel about this into words.
Like I said too – I wanted to write this to try and put all of the jumbled up mess into words, and more importantly – I want to know if there is any parent going through the same. I want to know that there is chance for things to get better and I want to know how you handled it all, because now it’s real, I can’t seem to control my emotions. Please tell me that there’s light at the end of the tunnel, I just want the best for her.