Happy New Year everybody, and I’m so sorry I haven’t posted in such a long time. The last few months of 2012 were among the worst of my life, a real test of character, and there was one final insult before the year ended when Louise and I got the winter flu virus from hell. It knocked us both out for nearly three weeks, but we still had to be parents of course, so whoever felt the least poorly on any given day took George to school, and looked after Olly, and so on. We are only now starting to really recover from it, and poor Louise already seems to have another cold.
But, 2013 is now here. It’s a blank canvas, and my theory is that it has to be a better year than last year. I sincerely hope so. The first major event of the New Year came on the 6th January which was Olly’s 3rd birthday. A lot has happened since Olly was 2. It was really his second birthday that we started to have an inkling that something wasn’t quite right. He wasn’t interested in presents in the same way that George always was. This time last year, we we starting to become quite concerned.
We’ve learned a lot since then. We know our boy so much better now. We know a bit more about his likes and dislikes and we were able to buy him some birthday presents this time that we knew would appeal to him. Sensory toys, things coloured green and blue, and although some may judge us – I’m not ashamed to say that we also got him his own iPad mini. He gets so much from using the iPad. It really is so good for him and there are so many great Apps available aimed at children with Autism. The larger iPad was a little too big for him and he seems so happy with the mini. He even showed some interest in opening some of his presents this time which is great. His PECs is coming along really well too and I am really proud of how he is progressing. There are still plenty of meltdowns obviously but I think we are slowly learning how to deal with them.
So Olly’s birthday was a big success. As for me, I have a resolution for the year ahead. I want to try much more to reach into Olly’s world, rather than try forceably to bring him into mine. I want to try harder to understand how he feels rather than trying too hard to make him fit a mold that conforms to what society deems as the norm. That almost sounds like I’m giving up on him in a way. That couldn’t be further from the truth. What I’ve come to realise is that Olly is basically a happy little boy. He’s happy in his little world, a world that currently only he really understands. But all that counts is that he is happy. I will of course continue to try and help him to have the absolute best life he can possibly have, but I’m also not going to stop Olly from being Olly, because that’s what makes him special.
Olly has a difficult journey ahead of him, but so do we all, and a big part my journey is to meet Olly in the middle. We expect certain things of him, so why should we not expect the same from ourselves. With time and patience, and the continued help and support of family, friends, and the amazing team of experts we have working with us, this journey will continue in the right direction.
Here’s to the year ahead. There will be ups and downs no doubt. But lets enjoy the highs, and draw strength from the lows and move forward.