My Darling William,
I cannot believe that you are 6 today. Where on earth has the time gone? It seems like just yesterday that you were just my very tiny baby boy.
You have given me my fair share of worries over the years. There was the time when you were around 12 weeks old and you just went off feeding. You lost a little weight and the health visitor said that if you hadn’t gained weight in another 2 days that you would have to go into hospital to be tube fed. Naturally, I went into panic mode, obsessively learned everything I could about breastfeeding and expressed milk around the clock to feed you up. It was hard work, but together, we managed it.
When your baby sister, Bella was born, I was worried about you. I worried how you would cope with a little sister. It turns out that you were fine.
As you got older, you worried me again. You had a lump on your eye, right in your eye socket. Obiously I was concerned. We saw a specialist who recommended that we have it removed.
So you had your operation. You were so good.I thought you would panic, I thought the hospital would worry you, but you took it all in your stride.
When it came time for you to start school, I was incredibly worried. I knew that you had difficulties with other things that most children took for granted. I had no concerns academically, you were reading fluently by your third birthday, but socially, I worried. You had barely been away from me until that point. The only time I had ever left you for more than an hour was to go into hospital to have your sister. I was terrified that you weren’t ready.
Within weeks of being in school, your teacher confirmed what I had suspected, you were showing signs of ASD. After a period of about 48 hours of denial, I set about pushing and pushing to get you seen by a specialist to confirm the diagnosis.
Just before your 4th birthday you were diagnosed with “moderate ASD”. What does this really mean, my darling boy? Simply that your super clever brain works in a slightly different way to lots of people’s brains. Some people struggle to learn to read, or with maths. You will never struggle with any of those things. Everyone finds something hard, but that thing is different for each person.
So we worked hard, we put things in place to make life easier for you. I hoped that I could make your life easier for you. Still, you managed to breeze trough the “big” things that I worried about. Whether it was all of the preparation, or something else maybe, those huge life changing events that keeps me up at night are the ones that you sailed through.
It’s those little things that still bother you the most. The seemingly small, unimportant, unpredictable things that in spite of my best efforts, I just cannot see coming and I cannot prepare you for. You barely batted an eyelid when you moved up to a new class in school, yet your world crumbled when Tesco delivered the wrong hand soap.
Over the last year, I have watched you grown and develop faster than ever before. It never ceases to amaze me how fast your brain works, my little talking calculator. Your reading is years ahead of your age, plus you are really demonstrating understanding too now.
You have started karate this year and passed not one, but two grading belts. You have demonstrated katas (which Mummy still calls karate dances) to your class and performed them with precision. I believe that your amazing brain is capable of helping you excel in your extra curriculars as well as your academic life.
But more than your academic achievements, I am proud of how you are personally developing. When I met with the team of teachers who help you for you annual educational statement review, each and every one of them gushed about what a wonderful little boy you are. They commented not only how loving and kind you are, but how impressed they are with the way in which you cope. They told me of how they have never seen another child with ASD self regulate the way you do. They see you struggle and watch you pull yourself out of it. You amaze me every day, but apparently you amaze and captivate your teachers too.
So happy birthday baby. You are more accomplished and better adjusted as you approach your 6th birthday than I ever hoped you would be. More than anything, I truly believe that you are happier than I ever imagined too, and, my darling boy, I genuinely hope that I am right.
All my love and kisses and cuddles,