Hello! My name is Karen along with my husband Vinny we are the parents of 3 adults on the Autistic Spectrum.
In the early years we thought our first born Craig was deaf, but in 1988, we got the diagnosis that Craig had a severe communication disorder with Autistic Traits and tendencies.
Subsequently Craig’s two sisters Carly and Beth also got the diagnosis of Autism.
Autism – what was it?? I had never really heard the word before or if I did, I had not taken any notice of it. But it quickly became apparent that our lives would change forever and would never be the same again. I never envisaged what a journey it would be or where it would take us.
Even though my three children are on the Autistic Spectrum, the way they display their Autism is different from each other.
One does not give eye contact one gives full……
One loves getting hugs and tickles the other stiffens up if touched……
One loves to perform and sing and other hides away…….
Like all of us, no two people with Autism are the same we are all unique, and with my children their needs and interests are very different from each other.
As a parent with an Autistic child, you have endless appointments, see a multitude of professionals, and repeat yourself time and time again, struggle to get the diagnosis, correct education, support from social services and so on, the battle seems endless and so tiring.
As my children have grown, it has been a learning curve, reality check, my girls will never marry, never have children, never be in full time employment, or live independently; they will always need to be looked after.
My son who is a vulnerable adult but falls through services, I do not want to think what will happen to him….
The future for any parent and carer of a child with a disability is a scary thing, what will happen when you are unable to care for them or no longer here.
When Beth was leaving college we found the transition was non-existent. We encounter a whole different set of rules as many others do, such as a lack of:
- Social Activities
- Work Opportunities
Faced with this we knew we wanted to do something! This is why we set up Stepping Stones Across The Spectrum.
They are adults now, but the fight still goes on……
Please remember: Every Autistic Child becomes an Autistic Adult!