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A post for World Autism Awareness Day

This is our family, a picture taken on Christmas Day last year. It's a rare shot of the five of us together - the two girls sharing a laugh, and the rest of us a little nervous about what that might lead to.

This is B, our oldest. She is 14. She developed normally until she was 2, and then over a six month period lost her speech and many other things in an autistic regression. She lives in permanent residential care about 30 km away from us. We go and see her often; I took this a week ago. She likes to move her hands rapidly in front of her face, but I caught one shot of her looking at me clearly.

This is U, our youngest. She is 9. She likes to sing, always in tune, and goes to the special school that B used to go to (and which is the reason we live where we do, rather than closer to my work in Brussels). Unlike B she was late developing in some ways from the start, and very late talking; she started saying a few words - names and songs and common actions - just a year ago soon after she turned 8.

This is F with his sisters. He is 12, and goes to normal school. He enjoys being with them and they enjoy being with him. (I should note that B only uses the wheelchair because it is sometimes difficult otherwise to persuade her to go where other people want her to go; and U only uses the sledge if it has been snowing.)

I was going to write something deep and profound about World Autism Awareness Day, but I think I will leave it there.


( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
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Apr. 2nd, 2012 09:02 pm (UTC)
I saw all the tweets about this and wanted to send good thoughts and prayers your way, but didn't want to do anything that might be intrusive. I think you and your wife are very brave and very strong. I can imagine how difficult it must be for you .
Apr. 2nd, 2012 09:05 pm (UTC)
I think what you have written is deep and profound.

Apr. 2nd, 2012 10:49 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - surliminal - Apr. 3rd, 2012 12:07 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - minnesattva - Apr. 3rd, 2012 06:17 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - alitheapipkin - Apr. 3rd, 2012 12:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 2nd, 2012 09:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you for sharing these with us. You have a lovely family.
Apr. 2nd, 2012 09:15 pm (UTC)
Nicholas uv lovely family and so nice 2 see ur son being so protective and playing with his sisters. It seems life can b hard 4 u but im sure uv some lovely times 2. I have 4 yr old grandson who has just been diagnosed with autism but hes whats known as highly functioning autistic so I have a small glimpse of how life is 4 u all. Take care and enjoy the good times xx
Michele (Jordan) Mullan
Apr. 2nd, 2012 09:18 pm (UTC)
It sounds very difficult - and they look very happy.
Apr. 2nd, 2012 09:21 pm (UTC)
Lovely family photos all.
Apr. 2nd, 2012 09:25 pm (UTC)
Thank you for sharing those lovely photos.
Apr. 2nd, 2012 09:43 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you have a good special school for your girls. My boy is high functioning autistic spectrum and the school we got him into a few years ago has been the making of him. Those places make a hard job easier.
Apr. 2nd, 2012 09:45 pm (UTC)
these are beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing.
Apr. 2nd, 2012 10:02 pm (UTC)
Lovely photos-thanks for sharing!
Apr. 2nd, 2012 10:11 pm (UTC)
Hi Nicholas, a very touching post for today.

Our daughter F aged 8 has ASD and dyspraxia. She is very excited that we are all going to Eastercon this weekend so she can give her beeblebear an outing, and discuss Sarah Jane Adventures with people!

Hope to meet you there,
Apr. 2nd, 2012 10:33 pm (UTC)
Gorgeous, all three. Thank you for posting.

Find me (and/or smallclanger) at Eastercon! It would be lovely to meet after all this time.
Apr. 2nd, 2012 10:36 pm (UTC)
I was listening to a recent controversy about autism in France on Radio 4 tonight, coming back home. Apparently in France mothers of autistic children are still asked if they "really" wanted the pregnancy and what dreams they had during same. The solution is family psychotherapy.
There are no dents in my dashboard, but it was a close thing.
Apr. 3rd, 2012 06:58 am (UTC)
What? This is unbelievable... you'd think we would be a little bit wiser in 2012....
(no subject) - annafdd - Apr. 3rd, 2012 09:09 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - inner_storm - Apr. 3rd, 2012 06:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 3rd, 2012 12:18 am (UTC)
Your family look happy in the photos. Thank you for sharing them.
Apr. 3rd, 2012 07:00 am (UTC)
Very nice pictures! It's difficult to have an idea what it's like, even harder because there are so many differences, but I guess it's good to try to make others aware...
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( 30 comments — Leave a comment )

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