It has been a while since my last blog post. Part of that is that there were a lot of things going on, not only with Monkey, but also personally and with life in general. I am completing a MBA part time and the end of term is always crunch time for me. Add it all of Monkey’s therapy appointments and other things and it can get down right overwhelming. In any case, school has started for the term, but I am a little more relaxed and can hopefully get back into writing a little more regularly.
Autism Awareness Month was important to us this year, and I grappled with the decision of “going public” so to speak on Facebook as only close family and friends knew about Monkey’s diagnosis. I spoke with J about what his thoughts were about sharing Monkey’s diagnosis, and he challenged me on it. He said, “technically, it isn’t our information to tell…it’s hers. She needs to provide consent. How will she feel about it in a few years?”. I thought about that, because those are certainly valid points – and being careful on social media is key these days. But, then I said – what message are we sending to her if we “hide” this? That she needs to be ashamed of her Autism, or that her behaviour is “weird”. He agreed, and I started month-long educational posts for the month. I got a lot of great feedback, and some from people that I haven’t heard from in years. They were thanking me for information, and answering questions that thy were afraid to ask. I am glad that I did it, and now know at least a little more intimate slice of our lives.
Monkey has come so far in two months of therapy. She is engaging in more social play with her peers, participating in group activities, and her spontaneous language skills have been improving and increasing. She has been working so hard, and we are so proud of her. I was thinking the other day about how I will never know what autism feels like – as much as I want to and desperately research…I will never truly understand it. While thinking about that – I thought about what I was asking of my little girl. I am asking her to live in two worlds at once. To live in her neurodiverse and colourful world which she understands while at the same time being in our world where everything seems a little bit different and confusing. Take that in for a second…imagine having to do that every single day – it would be exhausting.
But every day she manages to do it – all with a smile on her face. The more I think about it, the more I am amazed by her. I get glimpses of her world every day, and the moments that she invites me in are the ones that I cherish.