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“My name is Siobhan and I am mummy to the most incredible 4 year old boy Travis Jay. Travis is Autistic. Now the word Autistic or Autism can be viewed as negative and yes there many aspects of Autism that can be challenging, but in lots of ways it’s pretty awesome. I knew nothing about Autism before the start of our special needs journey, yet now it is a massive part of my life – every day it’s there. If someone had said to me that I would have an Autistic child before Travis I would have been scared, deflated, convinced I wasn’t cut out to be a special needs parent but now I believe this was my life’s purpose. I know it was. Some days I feel I can take on the world for Travis and other days aren’t so easy but that’s every parent right?! Adjustments have to be made to every day to ensure Travis is comfortable and doesn’t become overwhelmed.

Let me break it down – sometimes all I want is a coffee but I won’t boil the kettle because the noise makes Travis anxious. A trip to the shop is not just a trip to the shop, I have to travel in the right hand lane or all hell breaks loose. I might be freezing cold but I can’t put a jumper on because this upsets Travis. This is all due to the way Travie processes things, not because he’s being a little sod! You might read this and think oh that sounds awful – It’s really not, and I don’t want any pity. Making these adjustments is easy because all I want is my child to be happy. I love him with every fibre of my being and when I had my second child I felt incredible guilt that I wouldn’t be able to invest as much time as I need to into Travis… Kurtis has just turned one and I still get pangs of guilt now. I even have my concerns that Kurtis may have a disability of some sort and worry how I will deal with a second diagnosis.

I feel like my armour is continuously on whether it’s to protect Travis from his day to day sensory challenges or even to protect myself from a look or comment from someone who doesn’t understand. Having a child with a disability is not what I envisioned, but I have been blessed, I would not change a single thing about him – he is pure, gentle and oh my God is he funny! How this kid has got such a wicked sense of humour is amazing! He is my saviour and in many ways my teacher – he has taught me patience beyond measure and how to see life and the world differently. His world is a happy place and I will do everything I can to ensure it stays that way.” – @siobhancaroline

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