Throughout this process, my wife and I have been learning more and more about autism and the way it presents itself, notably in girls. We’ve spoken to lots of people about autism, including doctors, psychologists, behaviour analysts and teachers. And the more we learn, we realise there is still so much more to learn. Books like ‘Neurotribes’ and ‘Martian in the Playground’ are becoming increasingly common on the bedside tables of reading material.

We’re thankful that information is out there; in order to understand our daughter, we need as much information as possible. Words on the page, words on a computer screen, the media doesn’t matter – we are devouring them. All these new words, as helpful as they are, are overloading our already emotional brains. We pounce on any information specific to ASD girls like starving hyenas – there is simply not enough of this information in proportion to those people it is affecting. And there are still misunderstandings and misconceptions of how girls with ASD present themselves.

The process of trying to achieve a diagnosis can be lengthy and all-consuming for families. It’s difficult sometimes to think of anything other than what the diagnosis and its implications will mean. Which brings me back to – words. Not written down, but spoken between friends.

Last night I went to the pub with a friend of approximately 30 years. We spoke about autism and my daughter. We spoke about what it means for her and for us. And it was good to talk about it. Men are often not great at talking about these things. It wasn’t a long conversation, but it was honest and heartfelt. I know my friend supports us and would do anything he could to help. And just knowing that someone else understands a bit of what we are going through is a massive help.

Words. They really are powerful.

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2 thoughts on “A Father’s View – The Power of Words

  • April 8, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    Wow. Your mother would be very happy that you could put all these powerful sentiments into words. Unfortunately, when you become parents for the first time you have no experience whatsoever. You can only do what you feel is right. My wife and myself had no experience in how to raise a well balanced child. I think that we did a great job. Most of it was down to my wife as I had to go out to work and could not always get time off. I have no experience with a child who is autistic. Again as you learned 8 years ago you can only do what you thought is best. I am talking about both mother and father here. I am sure that if the autistic child has a loving home life he or she will be able to cope successfully. I am sure that all parents of autistic children will gather together and make this a very minor complaint. I am the grandfather of an autistic girl and can not be with her as often as I would like because of distance . My wife and I can only offer moral support. We know that her mother and father love her very much and will give her as much support as they can.

  • April 8, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Thank you for that really beautiful, heartfelt message – it means a lot K & G x

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