My name is Leigh Merryday, and I am a married teacher, school media specialist, and mother of two young children. My daughter, Bronwyn, is six and has ADHD. My son, Callum, is four and is autistic. He is currently in an ESE Pre-K class and receives speech, occupational, behavioral, and physical therapy.
This is not my family’s first journey into the world of autism and “otherness”. We have relatives on the spectrum as well as those with ADHD, giftedness, mental illness, etc.. Suffice it to say, between being a teacher and having family experience with the spectrum, the Jaws theme played loud and clear in my head at the first little glimpses of flapping and stimming in my son.
We don’t yet know what the severity of Callum’s autism will be. He is just beginning to use some words. And he is quite a friendly and affectionate little guy. Now we are doing what we are supposed to do (therapies, consultations, research) and have dabbled in others (biomedical, listening programs) while waiting to see in what direction he will go. He is severely speech delayed, but – at only four and showing positive signs of communicative intent, we are hopeful he will acquire language.
We are very fortunate that Callum’s autism and sensory integration issues are not depriving him of happiness. He is a cherished and happy little soul who brings smiles to everyone he knows. However, Callum’s journey has just begun. We’ve seen enough in our family to know that the tough stuff is yet to come. And, now that things are starting to become more of a challenge, I find myself needing to reach out toward other ASD families and individuals. This blog is my attempt to do just that — as well as take the burden off my non-ASD friends and loved ones!
Thank you for your interest and for allowing me an opportunity to share our story with you. I hope you will stop back by again.
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