When Something Is Wrong With Your Child...

As a Mum, there are a few things worse than something being wrong with your child and there isn't a way for you to fix it. If they have a fever you give them medicine. If they fall over and scrap their knee then you put a plaster on it. If they are overstimulated and overtired then you give them a cuddle. What do you do though when there is something wrong that you're unable to fix?

Last year James was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism. I've written about his epilepsy but I don't think I've ever mentioned this newest diagnosis. Since he was a toddler, I'd had my suspicions. Sudden loud noises would always send him into a tail spin. Certain doors always had to be shut. I mentioned it to the health visitor at his two and a half year check but because his talking was advanced and he was already learning his alphabet and numbers, she never took it any further.

James has always been advanced for his age. He taught himself to read when he was three, at the same time he learnt to spell and write. Everyone always commented about how well he was doing. What they didn't see was him waking up at 3am because he had to recite the alphabet over and over again. They didn't see him rocking back and forth on the sofa when some builders came to instal our new boiler. They didn't see him chewing holes in his t-shirt when something worried him.

In three days he learnt every flag of the world. Literally. If you describe the flag to him then he will tell you the country. If you show him a flag, he'll do the same. If you name a country he'll describe the flag in detail. He also memorises number plates.

Don't get me wrong. None of these are a bad thing. In school he is flying. Some days he comes home from school and tells me something that he taught the teacher.

What hurts though? Watching him suffer in certain situations. If we're out and about and it's too crowded, I only have to look at James and I know that he's not coping. I've lost count of how many times we've had to leave or take him to a quiet spot so he can calm down. It's hard watching him not being able to control his emotions. Something small that we wouldn't even think about can completely ruin his day. I never know which James I am going to get from day to day. If he's had a bad day then the rest of the afternoon follows suit. It hurts when I take him to a friends party and he spends the first hour sat in the corner, only allowing me to sit with him.

I can't fix this for him and it hurts.

I do think that we're lucky though.. On the autism spectrum we're at the better end of it. He is so intelligent and so funny. He is loving and sweet. On particularly hard days once he's fast asleep in bed I sit and feel like maybe I should have had more patience during a certain melt down. Maybe I shouldn't have put him into time out for shouting at me. I'm trying to find a balance between teaching him what is right and wrong but also allowing room for his emotions that he has very little control over and doesn't understand. Some days I succeed and other days I fail miserably.

I want to be able to fix it and I can't..


  1. Thank you for sharing your story. It sounds like you have an incredibly bright and gifted little boy. My son might not be on the spectrum, but he, too, does not like crowds and would often prefer to be at home instead of traveling to new places. He's been seeing our school psychologist because he's having a hard time adjusting to a new school and is still very anxious about getting on the bus. I wish you all the best with your son. It sounds like you're doing all the right things and more. I still wish parenting was as easy as reading a book that has all the answers.

    1. Thank you for such a nice comment. It's so hard isn't it? If only parenting came with a manual! I hope your son starts feeling less anxious soon xx

  2. I will be praying for y'all! my cousin was diagnosed with autism. He is very high functioning and actually reminds me of your little one. I have a 2 yo and I can't imagine him going through that and knowing there was nothing i could do. your strong! and you might not be able to fix it but you love him and love can truly help weather storm. thank you for sharing your story !


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