Raising a child with autism - A mums story

From day one Clare knew that there was something different about her son. After four years of frustration and waiting lists he was finally diagnosed with autism and able to get the attention he needed. Here Clare tells her story about bringing up a child with autism.

I felt from the very beginning that Sam was 'different'. He was undemanding, didn't ask us for anything and would sit playing happily on his own.

He didn't cry, never showed any signs of being ill, he didn't need that constant reassurance other children demand – and that his sister, Elizabeth, just 18 months older, had needed.

As a toddler he never went through a clingy stage. He didn't seem to care whether he was with us or not and when I first took him to a toddler group he showed no separation anxiety at all.

In many ways it was a relief that my second born was so ‘easy', but it worried me too because I wasn't getting interaction with him. With his sister demanding a typical three-year-old's share of my attention, I was worried I wasn't giving Sam enough.

Once he got a pin stuck in his foot. The only reason I realised was because I saw him limping. Why hadn't he come and shown me? Why hadn't he cried? 

It wasn't just his behaviour. I had taught Elizabeth simple sign language before she could talk and she'd taken to it really well. When I tried to teach Sam he didn't show any interest at all.

Right from the beginning we had a feeling that something wasn't quite right.

To read the full story click here:

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