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Mandy's Post

Mandy talks about how Mother's Day can be different through the eyes of a child with Autism

Whilst many children get excited about Mother's day, the pretty card they are going to give that they've spent ages perfecting, the cup of tea they are going to make (or try to make!), or focusing on being extra good that day, for some, it's a very different emotion and not a happy one.

It's DIFFERENT and therefore, it's not exciting, it's stressful, requires lots of reassurance and your little one (or bigger one) may even feel angry about it.

Why? It doesn't make sense that your child will tell you that they've purposely left your mothers day card (which school "made" them make) in their drawer at school, and they tell you it's going to be a bad day and that they hate you but they love you. Why? And then they give you their response and it all makes sense "because it's DIFFERENT, because mummy you might not care for me as much today". All because of the word "Mothers Day". My son literally thinks it means that everything has to be about mummy (quite literally) and therefore the day is DIFFERENT, not normal and he will be forgotten. Of course, that will never happen and in reality, the day is actually planned around him and his needs (sometimes just to keep the calm-other mums of children with autism will know what i mean) but in his little eyes, it's DIFFERENT.

So when you see that child standing in the playground or supermarket shouting, being awkward, obsessively repeating the same thing or reacting angrily for no obvious reason, please take a moment to consider in the eyes of that child, what they might be feeling. They are not naughty, being difficult or have parents that let them get away with everything and have no boundaries, they are anxious, scared and feel panicked about change and this is their reaction. Ironically and yet beautifully, the one thing that calms my little boy is taking him to lie down, wrapping my arms around him and holding him tight. So i remember how special this is to him and me (and the most successful strategy I have ever found) for those times when I wonder if my child will ever be able to show Love and Empathy. This gives me HOPE and one day, you and I might get a "Happy Mother's Mummy' but for now, I am just grateful that I have been given the privilege of being a mummy and will keep learning about the world "through the eyes of my child".