Although our journey along the ASD road has been long, full of tight bends, blind summits, the occasion U turn and lots of red lights, our foray into sharing our experiences with others is only a few weeks old (and has been a much smoother ride).
On January 30th when, out of total and utter desperation, my husband and I sat down together (after yet another of our daughter’s meltdowns) and picked a domain name, I could not have imagined that a mere few weeks later, we would find the most incredible group of like-minded parents who knew exactly what we were talking about.
Not only have we found people who also have #ASD or suspected #ASD daughters, but their stories are so uncannily similar to ours; the years of being knocked back, judged, ignored and disagreed with, the nights and nights of coping with a severely unhappy daughter, the struggles, the tears, the desperation (but let’s not forget the joy).
Finally, there is an answer to our desperate castaway cry of ‘Is anybody out there’. The answer is YES and it is a ‘virtual’ yes, an on-line ‘yes’, an easily-accessible ‘yes’. Every single member of our little, private Facebook group is doing what seems to be lacking in the real world – collectively creating a place that freely offers immediate support, advice, encouragement, solace and compassion to parents of high-functioning/Asperger’s/ASD GIRLS in a quick, timely fashion. I am so, so proud that every question asked in the group is thoughtful, every bit of advice is heartfelt and every member responds and communicates in the way that suits them – some actively involved, some simply observing.
Perhaps the most incredible development is that we are bringing our girls together too – helping them to realise they are most definitely not alone. By getting them to share photos, thoughts and ideas (in a closed, secret group run on their parents accounts I hasten to add), they will slowly realise that there are girls out there who want to be their friend, who know how they feel, who share the worry and bewilderment. We are teaching our daughters resilience, we are showing them that if someone tells you something isn’t possible, prove them wrong. Break the mould, stick your head above the parapet, do the unimaginable.
In short, we are all telling our daughters that they are awesome.