Last October, when my family was at breaking point, I wrote a post about autism.
I addressed it to the other mums out there who were going through what I was going through, but it was by no means limited to the ladies. There are plenty of dads feeling the same way too (apologies for any offence caused, it wasn’t intended).
I have never hesitated as much before pressing publish as I did with that letter, and the response was completely overwhelming. Within two days it had been read by over 50,000 people. I was shocked to discover that so many had identified with my words, because when you’re in the thick of it, you start thinking that you’re all alone, and that no-one else will ever understand.
I’ve thought about filming a reading of the letter so many times in the last few months, but never got round to it. After a tough week and few glasses of wine on Saturday evening, I took a deep breath, pressed record on the webcam and did it. I start off by reading the letter, then I go off piste and say what I’m feeling.
The video isn’t perfect, it’s raw and rough around the edges. But you know what? My life isn’t perfect – it’s raw and messy and hard. Just like the hundreds of thousands of other families out there, going through unimaginable challenges every single day.
Dear autism parent, this one’s for you…