My name is Tanika, a 26 year old mum of one amazing boy, Slade. I am a proud Worimi Woman from Forster NSW, where we now live. I have been away from country now for 10 years and its been so amazing to finally be back with my loved ones.
In October 2018, our than 2nd a half year old Son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder off the back of a 6 month formal assessment and appointments. These appointments included GP visits, informal Therapy assessments, Pediatrician appointments and a few hospital appointments in between. As a parent I just knew that our boy showed very “different” signs within interacts, social inclusiveness- or in Slades case not much at all, delays in communication, sensory processing & displayed a huge amount of fussy habits when he ate. I am in no means a medical professional but when your mum instinct kicks in, I mean you just know right?
It wasn’t until a “Formal” diagnosis that things really hit home. I knew it was coming and I just sat and cried- I cried because I didn’t know what was next.. Where to from now? What will our future look like? How will we cope? How will Slade cope? The list goes on… We weren’t dying but our whole world as we knew it with our first born seemed like we failed him in someway. We know now this isn’t the case but it certainly felt like that.
At the time of his diagnoses we were living in Dubbo, NSW- far away from family and friends to call upon in times of need. We never relied on our family because we were away from them for a long time but we now feel that because we are home we have time to focus on life as we know it. We don’t actually have a typical day in the life of Slade… we wake up and see what type of day it is for him..
Wake up- get dressed- have breakfast- get outdoor- come home for sensory play or indoor play- more outdoor play and then inside from about 4:30pm onwards. Most days he will sleep but this isn’t the case everyday. We stay to this type of structure so he knows and he is definitely familiar with it.
Slade has many quirky behaviors that our close family and friends are now very aware of. Logos, car badges, coffee pods & footballs are just to name a few. We continue therapy with him 1-2 days a week depending on what appointments are available each month but we have seen a huge improvement in both his social interaction and communication skills.
Most of you are probably asking why would they share so much of their life right? The truth is we want people to be aware and understand that for many families that are living with Autism work solely around the child effected. We based every decision around our sons needs, possible social side- effects of what “if” we do this today… how will Slade react, we cancel plans suddenly if Slade is coping with leaving the house and sometimes we just don’t make plans.
And this is life as we know it…