Today my gorgeous little man & I are featured in the Manchester Evening News for World Autism Awareness Day. When I was first contacted by them I thought it was just going to be a bit of a mention of my blog post ‘20 Things Not To Say to A Parent of a Child with Autism‘ in an article about Autism Awareness, I didn’t realise there was going to be a full article on us and featuring my blog post, and that it would be in the main news. It was even picked up by a few other regional papers, and then was even featured in The Mirror so got some amazing coverage.
I’m really proud of that article being featured, I’m glad to be doing something to raise awareness for Autism. I know not all people will agree with what I have written but I hope it’ll open a few eyes to make people realise what they can can be hurtful, even if they don’t mean it to be.
People can be fighting battles that you have no idea about. Just one off hand comment can really cause some damage. That mum or dad may have been up all night with a child that just doesn’t sleep. They may be battling with their local authority to get a suitable school place for their child. They may be struggling to get the therapy their child desperately needs. They just might not be coping with the immense stress they are currently under.
I’ve got a feeling there’ll be some nasty comments on the article or on social media because that’s what happens. Some people who don’t understand like to pass judgement. They claim we’re ‘pinning a badge’ on our children to ‘claim benefits’ and ‘get special treatment’. But those of us that have been there know how hard it to ‘get special treatment’. We have to battle for years to get basics such as speech therapy and occupational therapy, or to get them some form of support in school.
To even apply for Disability Living Allowance you have to fill in a huge 44 page page form detailing every aspect of your child’s disability, including having all the supporting evidence from every professional involved, and even after all the evidence and paperwork not all parents receive DLA. It depends on the level of disability your child has.
I’m going to try & ignore any negativity online, just as I do in real life. My kids are my priority and always will be. Hopefully this article getting such a big coverage will make parents of children with additional needs realise they are not alone. That other people are going through the same thing, dealing with the same issues.
There are support groups out there, especially on Facebook. And my virtual door is always open too, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet me at @thismamablogs or contact me over on Facebook and I’ll do what I can to help.
Being a special needs parent can be isolating and scary but there are more of us out there, and we should support each other where we can, and hopefully us being in the news will can be a little part of that.