In His Shoes I am six years old, but I’m not your typical six year old, I can’t help that, I have autism and my brain is a little different to yours. I don’t really talk, I can, but I like the sounds I make, my mammy and daddy know what I want from my sounds, or lack of them. Everyone keeps telling me to use my words but sometimes I can’t. I can spell anything. I can read even though that’s mainly in my head because, well, I don’t think I like talking. I think I’m a little scared for everyone to praise me, or laugh at me if I say something wrong. Every time I say a word they stop and look at me, I don’t know if this is a good thing or not. I can’t tell by their faces because they are laughing does that mean I said it wrong? I don’t play like a normal six year old either I like to play alone. I will watch other children and sometimes I’ll have a bit of rough and tumble but I won’t engage in role play and games. That doesn’t mean I don’t have friends, I do. In my own little way I love them too. At the moment I like Peppa Pig again, I will sing the theme tune and introduce Peppa and family and this is me playing. My mammy loves this as it shows I’m taking in a show and playing the scene from the show, something only now I’m starting to do. Even though it’s not classed as imaginary play I think I’m still playing. I love to jump, I’ll jump off anything, mammy doesn’t really shout, but I hear her say to people she was like me as a child so she gets it. She can’t tell everyone why, but I think if she really thought about it she’d remember the wind and that free fall feeling before she hit the floor with a bump! The smile on my face and the giggle afterwards is just a feeling you can’t really get anywhere else, well unless it’s water! I don’t see danger. I just see what’s in front of me and what I want to do. When we go out to play with my friends sometimes everything becomes too much, I can hear everything. So I’ll hear the lights, the heating, everyone eating, (they are so loud!), babies crying (just stick a dummy in it’s mouth), then I can smell everything. Because I don’t use my words I have to find other ways to let Mam know I’ve had enough and want to go. She’s pretty good at knowing, if I hand her my shoes or coat she knows I want to go. Sometimes if I have my shoes on and it’s hot, so I don’t have a coat, I’ll pick up her bag. Sometimes she doesn’t have a bag, that’s when I have to get creative, like opening a fire door, I may say ‘Car’ or just go depending on how busy it is. There’s other days I can’t get my words out, I have my shoes on there’s no bag and no doors, I try to run to find my way back, but mam’s quick and she’s stops me, that’s when I have to throw myself on the floor and scream and shout. I get taken out very quickly then. This is when people stop to stare - yes because staring and tutting is going to make me stop - it won’t, I need to get out. I need quiet. I need to crunch crisps, I need to get back to me, drown everything and everyone out. Big cwtches (hugs) work here when Mam pulls me in to a huge bear hug. I may take a little longer to hit what you say are milestones but I do hit them. Something I do way before I’m supposed to, does it really matter when I do them? I do them in my own time and that’s what matters! To read more of our blogs head to our Family Fund Blog page.