Since 2017 I have had the privilege of writing blogs for SASI. Each of the blogs have come from my own personal experience from raising a child who is on the spectrum. They’ve also been influenced by friends who also have children with autism or who themselves have an autism diagnosis.

During this time, I’ve also researched many things about autism in order to ensure the blogs were not just about my child, but they were also relevant to other children on the spectrum, and I have included statistical and scientific evidence where appropriate. The process has been extremely educational for me and I have learnt many things about autism, myself, my child and other people who live with autism every day.

It has been reassuring to find that many of the challenges that autism parents face are shared. Our children are individuals with their own personalities, interests and quirks. We love them and no matter what, and we will always support them. Autism parents are the strongest advocates for their child. You know your child better than anyone else on the planet. You love them unconditionally and will always put their needs before your own.

Writing these blogs has been extremely cathartic for me. It has helped me to reflect on things that happen in life, to learn and to grow as a mother and as a person. To write about autism has helped me to get things out of my head and onto paper, and has helped me to deal with my own feelings and emotions.

Over the years I have written about a wide range of topics such as visual aids, sensory overload, coping with trips to the dentist and the hairdresser, how pets can become your child’s best friend, and many more.

I have been able to share these blogs with you and with my friends, teachers and teaching aides at my son’s school, along with my son’s support team who we are fortunate to have working with us thanks to the funding we receive from the NDIS.

My son is now grown up, he finished school last year and has been working full time for almost 12 months. He has a girlfriend and has become extremely independent. The change in him now from his school years is quite amazing and I’m very proud of the young man he has become.

If you asked me five years ago where I thought he’d be today I could not have told you. Our autism journey has certainly been one hell of a ride, and not one I was expecting when I became a mother 20 years ago. I have learnt so much and met many wonderful people along the way who have supported us on the journey.

I would like to thank the staff and management at SASI for their support over the last five years and for allowing me to write these blogs for the organisation. It truly has been a privilege and I’m so pleased to have been able to share my stories with you.  

Wishing you and your child every happiness and success for the future.

Farewell for now,

Nicola – aka SASI Guest Parent Blogger.

Image: My children with their dog in a tree – Korumburra – 3 October 2013