These days, I don’t like to plan ahead too much as the future is so unclear now. Will Conor ever have friends? Will he ever drive a car? What about getting a job? We have to take one day at a time. Right now, our main focus is getting a place for Conor in an ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) Unit — which is a class, attached to a mainstream school for kids on the autism spectrum. But like all things, we have to wait, in fear, on a waiting list to see if he will be able to attend school.
Such a basic right for any child – an education. Except not in this country. Not when you have autism. We are unique.
In the meantime, life goes on. We cannot do the things that other families do like attend playgroups or go for walks in the park. Some days we feel very alone and isolated. But we have each other. We are unique.
And with another sibling on the way, I hope Conor’s support network will grow!
We cannot change who Conor is. Autism is a part of him, like being a neurotic is being part of me!
Instead of trying to change him, I will try to change the world around him — push for change, raise awareness. I want to teach the world how to accept my son, one person at a time.
But right now, it’s a Sunday evening. There is washing to be done, dinners to be prepared and a very bouncy little four-year-old who needs to go to bed. So perhaps I will get back to changing the world tomorrow, after a coffee or three...
“WE are just normal mammies trying to make a change but we need your help...” Those are the words of the organisers of the March For Our Children, which takes place on Monday, April 3 all over the country. The marches, which take place in Cork, Tallaght, Naas, Sligo, Limerick and Clonmel, are aimed at raising awareness of the lack of support and services for people and families dealing with autism.
The Cork march will leave from Cork Opera House at 10am, travel down the quays to Penrose Wharf, into Bridgeway, out to Blackpool to the Disability Services Office, where Assessment of Needs go to and Early Intervention Teams are based. Organisers have asked Minister Simon Coveney to be at the end point to accept a copy of a petition, which they have been collecting signatures for, calling for improved services and supports.
Trina Murphy Organiser said: “This is a nationwide march to highlight the extremely poor services that are currently provided by the HSE to children with special needs.
“The March is for every person affected by extremely long waiting times for appointments and intervention and the general lack of services available to children and families.”
For more see March For Our Children Cork on Facebook