Guest post from Donna, who is a Face 2 Face befriender in Coventry.
Sophie was born naturally at the local hospital and I was so proud to be her mum. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. She had black hair and red ruby lips.
It wasn’t until Sophie was around 3 years old that I started noticing that she wasn’t meeting her key milestones along with her peers. After an awful lot of filling in forms and talking over these issues with many different professionals a consultant diagnosed Sophie with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
I remember listening to everything thinking “this is fine, I can deal with this”. It wasn’t until a few days later I started questioning what this meant for us as a family, but more so what it meant for Sophie’s future.
People say “children don’t come with manuals!” – well this is even more true for children with ASD. These children write and rewrite their manuals on a half hourly basis. You’re forever learning, relearning and adapting. And this is what makes living with a child with ASD one of the most pleasurable things, but also one of the most challenging.
I would have loved having someone who was genuine, non-judgemental and empathetic to all the things we were facing. Someone to listen to me as Sophie’s mum.
I have just completed my Face 2 Face training to become a befriender in Coventry.
Coventry needs this service as many parents go through the diagnosis stage only to be left at the end feeling lost, alone and in need of a shoulder.
I realised that this service is something that I wish had been available when we were going through diagnosis. I just hope that I can be a positive in someone’s life.
Donna supports parents as part of our new Face 2 Face service in Coventry, which launched today. Face 2 Face provides free emotional support for parents of disabled children, from other parents with similar experience.
Another befriender in Coventry, Sophie, has also written a blog for us about her story. Read Sophie’s story.