It’s World Autism Awareness Day, and thanks to these two amazing boys, I’m definitely autism aware 😊
When Jude was born nearly 12 years ago, followed by Tommy 3 years later, I never could have predicted how life would turn out.
Autism can affect how a person communicates, and as yet neither Jude or Tommy are verbal. Life is difficult for them every day, trying to make their needs and wants understood.
There’s been sensory challenges, a severe lack of sleep, self harming, and meltdowns I never would have believed possible.
These difficulties mean they both need 1-1 care, and as they struggle so much around each other, now live apart. Me and their mum look after one boy each and swap every couple of days, ensuring both of them get exactly what they need.
But through it all I’ve been blessed with two very special boys.
Jude, whose smile lights up any room. His loving and gentle nature captivates everyone he meets. His anxiety and self-harming have meant he went through an incredibly tough few years, but I’m delighted to say we seem to be on the other side of that. There is light at the end of the tunnel, and now he’s like a completely different child.
Tommy is the cheekiest kid I’ve ever met, with the strongest will power on top. Much more logical than his brother, his puzzle making abilities, how he manages to make sense out of the chaos he creates, wows me every time. Last year was a really difficult time for him, which led to further diagnoses (ADHD and Tourette’s). It’s still a work in progress, but he’s much more content, and we’re finding ways to help make the world an easier place for him to be happy in.
Thanks to these two boys they’ve made me into 10 times the man I was before they came into my life. The way they battle against all of their challenges each day inspires me to do better, to be better, to be the dad that they need.
They’ve made me want to share our lives. To start a charity that helps other families feel less alone. To do more than just raise awareness about autism, to educate, to learn more, and help make the world a better place for my boys to grow up in.
Hopefully, sharing our stories will help achieve all of that ❤️