I’m currently sat listening to my son on the radio. He has a 3 hour slot on internet http://www.Ramair.co.uk radio and will soon be heard on South Leeds Community Radio. I’m so proud of him even if sometimes the songs are a little too metal for my liking. It’s even more special for me because when he was little I was told he may never speak!
It’s hard having a child on the Autistic spectrum, My son has what is known as a Receptive Language disorder which is mostly a communicative issue. At 18 months he would happily complete a 100-200 piece jigsaw but couldn’t say a word. He couldn’t point or give any physical instructions. Mostly he screamed, cried or threw things. A lot. I lost track of the amount of times I was smacked in the head with a car or whatever was to hand. I knew there was something wrong with him but didn’t know how to ask for help. I still had the doctor who told me to grow up when I asked for help after a breakdown. I’ve spoken of some family never listening when I asked for help.
Luckily this time my son was at a local nursery and they’d faced the same problems as I had when he was there. So when it came to their yearly assessments they helped me get a referral to a specialist who gave the communication disorder diagnosis. I always remember that moment. They couldn’t understand why I wasn’t weeping and wailing at being given bad news. By this point he was 2 and a half and I’d spent nearly 2 years having to fend off bad mother remarks, being told I wasn’t bringing my child up right, that he was a badly behaved child that needed a good smacking. Finding out I was actually right was a huge relief rather than a trauma. Now I could finally answer back with confidence when someone questioned my sons behaviour.
The meeting itself was a bit bleak, he may never talk, he may never go to a mainstream school. But we were to have lessons and support to help. I spent one afternoon a week for a year sitting in a small room with a radio headset being taught how to play with my child from scratch. But in a way that would help him learn how to communicate. He soon picked up how to point and the screaming and hysterics stopped after that. Fort me I still talk with my hands. The visual techniques I picked up are still with me to this day .
By the time he started primary school he could talk in stilted sentences and we had the support of classroom assistants and speech therapists in place to help him go through the school days. Each year brought new challenges. In the first year it took the teachers 6 months to get him to understand subtractions before throwing one away in frustration.
The next year it was “he may never write an original piece of work”. I spent the summer introducing him to as many genres I could think if by book, film & Tv and when he returned to school I got called into the office to hear he’d written a lovely space story! (Geek mum so proud lol). Since then he’s gone on to do radio scriptwriting, write shows for local wrestling companies and is now in the process of writing his own LA Noir inspired film script. As stubborn as his mama he hates being told he can’t do something!
It’s not been easy at any point in studies but with tons of hard work he achieved enough to go to college to study radio and is now at university studying photography. and has just completed year two. The radio and photography give him an outlet to show his skills and a confidence he doesn’t always have in every day life. But every hurdle he’s been given has been smashed and long may it continue.
Having a disadvantage doesn’t make life impossible , only harder. Anything can be achieve with desire and determination