would have become a mum, let alone a mum of a special needs child!
Todays post is inspired by an email I got this morning asking what I am doing now that I never thought I would. This is the biggest…
Let me explain….
It is no secret that I had a rubbish childhood, I always said I did not want kids. I did not like the possibility that I could end up like my mother (As an indicator of just how far she went… I still have very feint scars on my arms from where she attacked me with a hot iron). Of course I was told that was a stupid notion, by the same counsellor that said maybe she was abused which is why she did what she did. Truth is, I will never know.
When I fell pregnant with Dinky I had no idea until I was 6 months gone. It took the question of termination out of my hands. I wondered almost every day of my 3 month pregnancy, whether or not I would have done it. Termination is a very personal thing, and there are very strong opinions on it. I don’t think I could have terminated the pregnancy, even if I did have the choice. However it would have been nice to feel like I had a choice whether or not to embark on being a single parent whose only idea of a mother was one who was always angry and who used me like a human emotional and physical punch bag. Even if it wasn’t a real choice.
I worried continuously about the type of mother I would be. I was scared.
It didn’t take long before my contingency plan was that if I ever hit my baby in anger I would give the baby to social services myself, and tell them what I had done.
The day Dinky was born I almost lost her. She became distressed and then got stuck as the cord was wrapped around her neck twice. They had to help her out and she was blue, she wasn’t breathing and I didn’t hear her cry. I was on my own and it was one of the scariest moments in my entire life and I never felt so alone. Eventually she cried, which meant she was breathing!
Once she had pinked up a bit I was allowed to hold her. In that moment I fell in love. I couldn’t see how I could ever harm such an innocent baby.
She was a very easy baby, she rarely cried, and I felt I knew what she wanted when she got grizzly.
There I was… a Mum! A day I never thought would come…
Fast forward 2 years…
Dinky was walking and even though she didn’t say more than 10 different words 5 of them being 1-5, she was a character and had a giggle that could melt even the hardest of hearts. However she was a handful! At her 2 year health check she seemed to be above her age for most things apart from speech and language and something else which included personal care, which the health visitor said was ok, but she wanted to send dinky to speech and language. I wasn’t all that bothered, maybe she was a late talker.
I did ask about the speech and language as she got older, then just before she started playgroup I got a drop in flyer, except by this point she was saying so much it was hard to keep her quiet at times! So I didn’t bother.
Fast forward to the start of the blog,
January this year she was identified as having special educational needs by school. I had people telling me she was autistic, and the school saying she wasn’t. February I find out about PDA, which creates the infamous PDA parent ‘lightbulb moment’!
Even when I found out about it, it didn’t instantly change my perception of dinky from average kid, to special needs child.
I think it was a combination of being referred by three different people without saying a word to the special needs group and her being accepted, the DLA award, meeting up with the young boy with PDA and every time I we go to one of the special needs things I am always asked… “ASD?”, that finally made me admit dinky has special needs.
I just never thought I would be a parent, let alone the mum of such a beautiful, intelligent, yet special needs child.
It is a weird realisation and a horrible one as well.
I think most special needs parents go through a kind of grieving process for the childhood they thought their kids would have.
For me personally, I don’t think I am all the way there yet, but I cant pin point why.
I know that dinky struggles, and that she is not a typical 5 year old. She is not reaching her academic potential and that she is unlikely to because of her anxiety. I know that she is likely to struggle socially and does because she is very overpowering and controlling. I know she finds it hard keeping herself in check and she doesn’t fully understand what is going on in the world around her. And I know that I cant have a conversation with her because she doesn’t always understand what I am saying, she wont try at times to understand, and she finds it hard to express herself verbally despite being able to talk the hind legs off a donkey.
I know that all this is down to PDA which is an autism spectrum disorder. All I am waiting on, as Jane put it so perfectly, is ‘for someone with the letters after their name to confirm it’.
Yet here I am wondering if I should press the publish button… But I am because it is a true reflection of how I feel about it all.
So there you have it the biggest thing I never thought I would… is be a parent… a parent of such a wonderful special needs child!