A Journey - Discovering Your Own Autism Through A Child's Diagnosis
This is the story of a guest contributor Polly Rose. It started as simply sharing a poem with us for #PoetryMonth but so much more was shared. The Poem called Each and Every One is beautiful and very resonant, and can be found here. Polly-Rose’s Autism story is equally resonant in its own right, so with her permission, I am reproducing it here.
Part of AutLouds mission is to share our stories and experiences with the Autistic community. A key part of this is making our journeys ‘findable’ so that others who are coming to their own realisation can find us, and the rest of our tribe. It is in understanding these experiences that we can begin to understand ourselves.
Like so many of us, Polly Rose wears a myriad of different hats, an identity formed of twists, interests, colours and roles. At the heart of this identity is family. AutLoud is an adult focused blog so her own story is the focus of this piece. This is her story, in her words.
I am an artist, a poet, a storyteller, and a writer. I am inspired by nature, music, myths, legends and folklore, and how people interact with and affect each other and the environment they live in. I have been a reflexologist and Massage Therapist, and recently qualified as a children’s Yoga teacher, which I hope to practice on a part-time basis in the near future. I am neurodiverse. I am dyslexic, with dyspraxia and dyscalculia. I have just started the process of an autistic assessment.
A Son's Journey
I am a mother to a wonderful boy, who is my greatest source of pride and joy. With his permission I can mention, that almost ten years ago he gained his own diagnosis of autism. Unbeknownst to me at that time, this would set me on the path to understanding, accepting, and embracing my own neurodiversity.
When we learned of his diagnosis, I set about learning all I could about autism, so that I could support my child as best I could. In the books I read, in the classes, courses, and workshops I attended, I gained knowledge and understanding of how my son experiences the world, and many great ways of connecting with him and assisting him at each stage. I learned from other parents and autistic adults, and crucially, from him himself.
A Parent's Journey
Not only did I gain all that, but I came to recognise myself. The last few years have been an incredible journey we have shared together, supported by family. Although we have faced challenges, I feel incredibly lucky. He has brought so much joy to my life, he has brought music, laughter, and new perspectives, and he has brought me to myself.
Questioning my own make up led me to the Autistic Paddies table at an AsIAm conference a few years ago. Here I found my tribe. It has become a wonderfully positive part of my life. I have come to learn that I have used and continue to use the unique way my brain works while engaging in creative projects in my former professional life, as a parent, and to problem solve. Naturally, this is combined with trial and error, experience, determination, and hard work.
Looking to the Future
Presently, I am excited for the future for my son, my family, myself, and friends. Over the years, I have learned that understanding, kindness, and genuine compassion go a long way. If these are your foundation, then everything you do will be influenced by that and that will make all the difference.
I am grateful to our lovely supportive family, especially my parents who have used their own unique talents, knowledge, and experience to support and help us when we have needed it, and for all the lovely company too!
Check out Each and Every One here.