The world would be a boring place if we were all the same

The word ‘unique’ has come up in conversation so many times over the years, as a way to describe my family. Being unique, may not feel good to some, but to us, we embrace it!

How are we unique? We are unique because our circumstances are different to others. 

Having two children with autism, people often say “Wow, what are the chances of that happening?!?!” Or “Oh that’s unusual!” - which it is, to them, but to others, it’s just everyday life. 

How does autism make my family unique? Well for starters, we cannot do most of the fun activities that most families take for granted, like going to parties, play areas, restaurants, swimming pools - even supermarkets! These places are so sensory overloading for my children that, they don’t find them fun, they find them stressful. 

We have to politely decline party invites, or accept them with a big explanation of why we will need to arrive when it’s quiet and leave before it’s too busy. We have to be at any play areas the second the doors open and leave before the crowds arrive, and ask kindly for the music to be switched off, the fans to go off, make sure we never leave the house without ear defenders and chewies. 

There is one restaurant we can go to - during its quiet times, my son will eat the food from the menu, my daughter rarely does, usually I have to take a packed lunch of Cow and Gate Banana crumble, German salami and hummus. We are the family everyone stares at, because the kids are wiggling in their seats, flapping, on and off their chairs, using vocal stims - we are different, we are unique. 

Many years ago, when my now 13 year old was diagnosed with autism, I always panicked of standing out, the stares burned through me and I would cry each night, wishing for people not to stare. Nowadays, the stares reflect off me, our uniqueness doesn’t upset me, it empowers me. I look at where we were and where we are now, and I couldn’t be prouder and happier. 

My daughter has amazing drawing abilities for her age - unique!

My son has an amazing catalogue of WWE facts he can reel off at anytime - unique! 

I managed to be a mum, a carer, and have a smile on after only 2-4 hours sleep a night - unique! 

I often sit and think how boring life would be, without the unique minds and moments from families like mine, and yours. Yes, there are some moments I would like not to happen, like the ones where my children suffer during meltdowns or are filled with anxiety over things we take for granted. But the way they deal with everything life throws at them, the way they carry on, the way they see everything in a whole new way that I couldn’t.

My son for example, has autism, ADHD, sensory processing difficulties, learning difficulties, as well as physical difficulties, one being high blood pressure. He has had this since being a little boy, and was on a lot of medication for it. For 12 months it settled itself, but a few weeks ago, sadly we found its back and he is again on medication for it. He has been referred back to more specialists, had blood tests, lots of checks ups, and he doesn’t like it, I can see that, but he gets on with it. Me, I’d have sat moaning for hours on end to who ever would listen, my son, no. He is UNIQUE.

Yasmin blogs at - Sugar spice and all things autism