What is Autism? This was the question I asked the therapist twelve years ago when my husband and I were told our first son has Mild Autism. It seems like such a long time ago since my journey in what I call “Autism land” started but looking back, I sometimes ask myself: how did I get here?, to a place where I can confidently say it’s been a journey that taught me to be patient, positive and to see the best in people and in situations.
The purpose of this blog is to enable me to share my experiences both as a mother of an Autistic son and as a professional who has worked as a Special Needs Assistant both in a Special Class and in Mainstream Class in Primary schools with Autistic children and others with different special needs.
People say experience is the best teacher but apart from over twelve years experience with my son as well as working with other children, I have training in Special Needs Assistant Training, Introduction to Child Psychology ( Online Academies), Autism Studies from University College Cork (UCC), trained to use both LÁMH Sign Language and PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System); and I am currently studying Facilitating Inclusion (Disability Studies).
My experience set me on a career path different from what I aspired for or even imagined it to be almost nineteen years ago when I graduated with a BSc (Honours degree) in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Benin, Nigeria. That being said, it’s also taken me to places I never even imagined, like in 2017 when every member of my family was invited to the Irish Presidential villa: Áras An Uachtaráin to meet with the President: Mr Micheal D. Higgins and his wife: Sabina.
I do not claim to know it all but I want you to join me as I take you through my journey( both as a parent of an Autistic teenager and a professional working with children with special needs), experience, thoughts, feelings, knowledge, tips, strategies and whatever comes to my mind that may in some way shed some light (raise awareness as well as promote inclusion) on Autism et cetera….