More than a diagnosis

It is a true honour to know a lot of families who live with autism. To mark autism awareness month this year I asked over 100 of those families to describe their children to me in one word or phrase. I collected them all together to make a video and to share with you all here.

Their answers are powerful, beautiful and inspiring.

  1. Funapril92april7
  2. Lovely
  3. Affectionate
  4. Courageous
  5. Strong
  6. Emotional
  7. Always smiling
  8. Helpfulapril19
  9. Marvellousapril41
  10. Train lover
  11. Intelligent
  12. Awesome
  13. Horse lover
  14. Precious
  15. Great artist
  16. Sweet
  17. Energetic
  18. Gorgeousapril6april50
  19. Contented
  20. Mischievous
  21. Loves outdoors
  22. Socially rigid
  23. Beautiful
  24. Cleverapril53april116
  25. Loving
  26. Caringapril71
  27. Cat lover
  28. x-box addict
  29. Informative
  30. Routine lovers
  31. Toothbrush facinationapril20
  32. Gentle
  33. Chatterbox
  34. Kind
  35. Light of my life
  36. Bus obsession
  37. Minecraft crazy
  38. Charming
  39. Giggly
  40. Anxiousapril8
  41. Quiet
  42. Dalmation collector
  43. Harry Potter’s greatest fan
  44. Cheeky chub
  45. Dancer
  46. Mummy’s boy
  47. Fragile
  48. Joy
  49. Smartapril15
  50. Special
  51. Animal lover
  52. Complex
  53. Cute
  54. Loud
  55. Thomas Tank engine fan
  56. Little monkey
  57. Quirky
  58. Aspiring authorapril124
  59. Cheeky
  60. Amazing
  61. Best friends
  62. Horse lover
  63. Happy
  64. Funny
  65. Creative
  66. Bubblyapril18
  67. My world
  68. Sunshine
  69. Handsome
  70. Simply the best
  71. Gifted performer
  72. Hard working
  73. Unique
  74. Jokestar
  75. Perfection
  76. One-armed woodworkerapril57
  77. Lively
  78. Determined
  79. Superhero lover
  80. History Buff
  81. Incredible
  82. Talented
  83. Dinosaur loving
  84. Brave
  85. Wonderfulapril63
  86. Water baby
  87. Minion fan
  88. Teddy loving
  89. Figure obsession
  90. Blessing
  91. Brilliant sense of humour
  92. Inquisative
  93. Excitable
  94. Calm
  95. My hero
  96. Loved to the stars and beyondapril110
  97. Big hearted
  98. You tube lover
  99. Always on the go
  100. Texture seeker
  101. Endearing
  102. Adorable
  103. Bundle of energy
  104. Timid
  105. Extreme sense of fairness
  106. Carefreeapril32
  107. The reason I live
  108. Heart of gold
  109. Nothing gets in his way
  110. Talents outshine his difficulties
  111. Laid back
  112. Sensory
  113. Full of character
  114. Lego lover
  115. Little princess
  116. Everything I could want and more

So many children, so many families and each one of them different and unique. There is one important thing to note though: every one of these precious children is much more than a diagnosis!

You can see them all here

Have a wonderful autism awareness day!

For the love of my child

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I will endure months of feeling sick and exhausted, and craving food combinations that are totally crazy just knowing it is because you are inside me.
I will face needles and tests and personal questions by strangers because you are changing my body in ways it has never been changed before.
I will research car seats and prams and clean areas of my house that haven’t seen a duster in years because I want to protect you.
I will endure pain on a level I never thought existed before for many hours on end just in order to give you life.
And when I first hold you all this will forever disappear from my memory because you are worth it.
For the love of my child.

I will repeatedly feed you, wind you, change you, and comfort you in a never ending cycle day and night because you need it.
I will exchange current pop music for lullabies, fashion heels for slippers and home cooked meals for a cold cup of coffee because I just want to be with you.
I will spend all night holding you while googling ‘help for colic’ or ‘cures for the teething baby’ because I only want the best for you.
I will cry when you say ‘mamma’ and video you when you take your first steps because I never knew what pride was until you came into my life.
For the love of my child

I will watch you with wonder, photograph you in the hope of remembering every last detail of your day, because I want to remember you.
I will measure medicine to the exact fraction of a millilitre, and cut grapes into tiny pieces to prevent you choking because you make me scared sometimes.
I will play make-believe games with you and talk to you like you are the most amazing person in the world because every moment with you is precious.
I will plan birthday surprises, take you to parks and splash in water at the pool with you because you make me smile everyday.
For the love of my child.

I will bubble on your first day of school and cheer you on at sports days because you are everything to me.
I will encourage you to do homework even when it is challenging for both of us because I want to teach you.
I will push you to go that bike or practice that dance recital because I believe in you.
I will nag you to brush teeth, wash your hair and be the best you can possibly be, because you are beautiful to me.
For the love of my child.

I will sometimes seem like your biggest enemy whilst always remaining your greatest ally, because we are too alike.
I will listen to your worries and hear the latest ins and outs of all your daily issues because I care deeply.
I will watch as you change from a toddler to a child to a teenager while it seemed like I was dozing because time passes far too quickly.
I will drive you places I would never go myself and buy you clothes that I have no idea what part of you they will cover because I respect your choices.
For the love of my child.

I will be overcome with emotion and pride at everything you achieve even if it seems trivial to you because my heart belongs to you.
I would spent my last penny on a new car for you or to see you through university because no sacrifice is too great for you.
I cover my walls in your photographs because my memory needs reminded so often of everything about you.
And even if I die I want the world to know that I lived my life and did it all
For the love of my child.

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