Autism Awareness Day: A Local Family’s Story
Autism Awareness Day took place on Monday, April 2nd. To mark the day, a local mother, Denise O’Mahony, Crosshaven kindly submitted a piece she wrote just over a year after her son Luke was diagnosed with autism.
Here’s part of the message from Denise and below, her story.
“My son Luke, (who’s amazing, by the way), was diagnosed at 22 months old back at the end of 2014. A year and a bit after his diagnosis, I wrote the below post on Facebook, hoping that it might help any parents out there that were going through the diagnosis stage. It’s a really rough time – I personally found it the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through and with HSE backlogs and intervention delays, as a parent you feel so helpless. “
From April 2nd 2016
So today is Autism Awareness Day! It’s no secret to all of our family and friends that our little man has Autism; we started this crazy journey a while back now and posted about Luke’s diagnosis last year on our first “official” Awareness day. As his parents, we know that the only way to ensure Luke has the best chance of reaching his full potential is if we embrace his uniqueness and raise awareness, and we try to do that in a positive way as much as possible. It’s hard at times, but we always get there. The further we walk down our road with Luke, the more I find myself wanting to reach out to those that are back at the start of the road gripped with fear – or those that are still unaware of anything waiting on the horizon.
So, to raise awareness this year, I think the best way is to go back to the beginning and tell you our story, in the hopes that someday, it might come in handy. It’s a bit of a read but stick with me.
Luke was, hands down, the best baby. We all say it about our kids but he really, truly was. He slept the night from 7 weeks, ate all the healthy fruits and veggies I could fit in his mouth, and smiled from the moment he woke until his eyes closed at night. He gurgled and laughed all day. He was, and is, rarely sick (thank God). Physically he was always mad for speed – he was walking before his first birthday with ease. It was around his first birthday that the first little clues were spotted, but they didn’t all come together for a while. I remember before his birthday that he didn’t wave bye-bye; such a small thing, but I remember repeating the motion over and over again day after day. And at times, his eye contact wasn’t the best. But I told myself he was young and that everyone is different.
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