As you probably know, April 2nd was World Autism Awareness Day. Social media was full of inspiring posts and fantastic videos – but this one post really caught my eye and I have asked permission to share it. These are the words of a mother. The words are real, they are honest and they are so incredibly powerful. Here are the words that Aisling Giapponi wrote about her beautiful daughter Alba. I am honoured to share them here with you. Fiona xx
Happy world autism awareness day!
This amazing tiny person, who brings absolute joy to mine and Kristen’s life, has autism! This isn’t a secret or something to whisper about, it’s not shameful or embarrassing- it just means Alba’s brain works in different and magical ways.
Autism isn’t a disease, there isn’t a cure, you don’t grow out of it. It’s a neurological development condition. You are not broken if you have autism. You do not need to be fixed.
If you’ve spent any amount of time with Alba you’ll know she loves routine and repetition. Saying the same thing over and over is how she makes the world make sense to her. You don’t need to get her to stop, she’ll do that on her own when she’s ready.
If she asks you a question – she definitely wants the answer, but if she asks you again it means she wants you to ask HER. That’s how she tells you things. Questions that she wants you to ask her so she can tell you the answer
Her thoughts aren’t linear and her memory is phenomenal. Something that can appear out of context is always related to something that happened previously that she’s associating with what’s happening now. Magic.
She loves spinning and jumping and being upside down and squeezed really tight.
She gets overwhelmed because the world is A LOT and noises can be too much, and things can be too different. Quiet voices and patience help her out.
She doesn’t like eye contact. She’s not being rude, it’s just not for her.
She loves numbers and letters and stories and her puppy.
She loves fiercely. Once she’s decided you’re in – you’re in for life. (Also helps if you’ve a kinder egg on you!)
I don’t know what it’s like to have autism, just what it’s like to parent someone who does. The world is hard and we ask people to change too much to fit in it so that we’re more comfortable rather than asking how we can make the world easier for them.
All this rambling for me to say I wouldn’t change this amazing joker for anything in the world. And I hope we make her world easier.