Different Isn’t Less – A Father’s Unfinished Journey

So here it is. What better time than in this annual autism awareness month for me to kickstart my first blog. So here goes:

I am a father of a moderately autistic 8 year old boy, and this is my as-yet unfinished journey.

A journey that I hope to share not just with other fathers like me, but especially with those who have little or no encounters with autism, or who (like me before I had my boy) viewed any odd behaviours from autistic kids or adults with suspicion and even a tinge of irritation and annoyance.

If any of this sounds uncomfortable to you, maybe this is a good time to warn you that it could get even more uncomfortable as you follow my journey. So best to stop here.

But if you’re curious, and you would like to find out more, then join me as I take you through my journey, and into my family’s world.

It all began when my son Caleb started to spin round objects on the ground at every opportune moment when he was about two years old, back in 2013. As with any parent new to such an experience, I didn’t think too much of it. I was mostly amused, as were my wife, family members and friends. The thinking was, he’s just a toddler trying stuff. He’ll move on to other things in due course, right?

But over time, it became clear that this wasn’t just a fad, not when it lasted first one year, then another. Caleb also continued to drool (and still does), something most kids wouldn’t be doing after two years of age (or even younger)!

It became clear that Caleb was, in a word, different. And the question then followed: was he ‘less’?

I’ll probably expound on details of those initial years in subsequent blog entries, but for now, suffice to say that in the lead-up to the time he needed to enter primary education after finishing pre-school, my wife and I had to decide: do we send him to a special education needs school, or to his older brother’s mainstream school?

Oh yes, this blog series will also touch on the pivotal role Caleb’s older sibling plays. It wouldn’t be the same without our first born, 10-year old Jaedon, whose love and support for his brother has helped tremendously especially during trying moments, of which there were plenty.

Still with me? Okay, then please bookmark my blog and I’ll see you in my next entry. Meantime, have a blessed Easter weekend!

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