Where to start!!
Today I attended a parent support group that was organised by Action in Autism. The meetings are held every month and anyone with an interest in autism can attend - parents, children with asd, siblings, adults with asd, educators, friends, Grannies and Grandpa's.
Sometimes I go, sometimes I don't!
What an eclectic bunch we are. Autism has no racial boundaries, there is no cultural divide. We come together from all walks of life - there are new parents, veteran parents, some of our children have many challenges, some of our children are at university, some of us are married, some of us are single parents, some of us are educators........... this list could go on and on..... BUT we all have a connection with autism!
Well, I had a particular reason for going to the meeting today. The guest speaker was a Dad of two young men with autism - I know this Dad and he knows me BUT we have never really spoken except to say "hello". I have known of his family for years and years and I have watched his boys grow. The Dad is also a teacher and in fact he teaches Thomas Afrikaans....... oh and he is also a rugby fanatic..... and he is a big man, I am thinking Jonah Lomu big! (you can tell that I don't really keep up-to-date with rugby because Jonah is so last season - very shocking that I don't know the team players.... except for Dan Carter and that is only because he is cute!!) I seriously wouldn't like to meet this Dad on a rugby field and I am so desperate to tell you his name but I can't - can I? Ok, best I not - just in case!!
This Dad was fabulous, he spoke about his journey from the beginning to where he is now and he had us all sitting on the edge of our seats listening to every word. He spoke about the people he has come across. Shaelene, I know you are now miles away but did you feel your ears burning - their first ever angel! :) He spoke about his boys and the dreams he had of standing on the side of the rugby field yelling encouragement to them, he spoke about his wife... and told her that he loved her, he spoke about how important it was to have an outside interest (can you guess what his was... haha) he spoke about how it has taken many years to reach acceptance. He spoke about his deep love for his children. Ahhh, it was just wonderful, straight from the heart, gut wrenching stuff. He told us that this was the first time he had spoken in public about autism and his family..... it has taken him 20 years to get to where he is today!
Crikey, have just seen the time - the rugby started half an hour ago and I am the only person in Durban NOT watching it. Please excuse spelling mistakes - no time to proof read!
Thank you Mr Dad, your talk was just perfect.
Thank you Action in Autism - the sense of community this afternoon was huge! :)