Thursday, 3 January 2013

My Teenager

Whenever our children have a birthday we tend to say, "where did the time go?", and I'm no exception. But the last thirteen years have rolled by for us, each one having something significant to look back on. I know, compared to some children with autism, that Amy has had it relatively easy but that hasn't been achieved without outside help from the authorities and constant care from me. I'm not going to pat myself on the back because it's my job as a parent to make sure Amy has everything she needs, but to think that before she arrived in this world I was probably the least maternal person to have ever lived, I'm quite pleased that I've become the type of mother who rolls up sleeves, stands firm and does not give up when it comes to my child's welfare. She has a condition that simply means she's wired differently. It isn't contagious. It doesn't make her a lesser person. She doesn't deserve to be avoided. Yet people over the years, have gone to great lengths to avoid us, particularly soon after the diagnosis was made. People shake their heads in our direction, they stare, they judge, they comment. They can. It's their prerogative as a fellow human being. But it's my prerogative as a parent to ignore them. 

Amy shakes these people off. She learned to ignore them years before I did. She's the one I commend, she's the one I pat on the back, she's the better person. 

Autism is a challenge. It can be bloody hard work. It can be restrictive. It can be heartbreaking. But only if you let it be. I don't look at my daughter and think "you're different." I look at her and think "you're Amy."

I have no other children to compare her to yet I know she is blessed with a wonderful life, an exciting future and a loving family. She might not become an astronaut or a physicist, she might not be the next Einstein. But she's Amy. And today, she's thirteen. A teenager. I may eat these words one day but the joy she brings me on a daily basis is all the back patting I need. After all, I brought her up. 

Happy Birthday to my gorgeous teenager. 
3rd January 2000

27 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday to Amy. and well done to you. It is not easy bringing any child up let alone one with any kind of difference I have a just 13 year old grandson he was 13 on the 23rd Dec, and my daughter struggles sometimes with him as he has hit puberty. I work with special needs teenagers (a bit older than Amy) most of whom are on the autistic spectrum in some degree so I can appreciate a little bit the struggles you might have.However they are a joy as well.well done and I hope Amy has a lovely day.

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  2. Happy Birthday Amy! What a great post. Amy will find her own way in the world with you there to guide her. You both have so much to look forward to. x

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  3. Happy birthday to Amy, I hope you all have a wonderful day and I hope Amy is still singing. Still often think about her beautiful recording of Amazing Grace. Xxx

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  4. A very happy birthday to her! Hope it's a special day :)

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  5. Happy Birthday Amy, I enjoyed the very positive post.

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  6. Beautiful post. Children are a joy whatever stage they're at and whatever challenges they throw our way. I made mine blush blogging about them at New Year's - but I think they like it really! Sending best wishes for a brilliant new year. x

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  7. Ah yes, where does the time go? Happy Birthday Amy and have a most wonderful day!!

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  8. Fantastic post, happy birthday Amy xx

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  9. Happy Birthday to Amy, my daughter turned 13 last November. It's fun having a teenage girl (I have two teenage sons also)!

    Hope Amy (and you) have a fantastic day!

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  10. happy birthday amy...i hope you have an incredible birthday...

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  11. Aah. Happy Birthday to Amy and to you! You're a wonderful parent - warm and loving and I expect you are therefore rearing a warm and loving child. With that singing voice, she'll go far x

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  12. Lovely Kathryn - Happy Birthday to Amy xxx

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  13. Love this post. Happy Birthday Amy... you rock (as does your mum!)
    My 13 year old with autism sends you a wave! :)

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  14. Happy Birthday, Amy. Life has just got even more interesting!

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  15. Happy Birthday to Amy!

    It's frightening how quickly the years go by, I can't believe my eldest will be 42 at the end of the month! :0

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  16. Happy Birthday to Miss Amy!!! Have a Wonderful Day Sweetheart!
    hughugs

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  17. Aaaahhh!! Happy Birthday Amy!! 13, wowza's... my eldest is 13 in a couple of months too :) Hope you've had a wonderful day. Kerry xx

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  18. Happy Birthday to Amy!!! Hope she had a fantastic day today. She is same age as my OHs nephew, he was born on the 1st and he was the 3rd baby born that night so missed out on a free nappies for life offer because he wasn't the first millennium baby! :)

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  19. Happy birthday Amy have a great day

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  20. Hope Amy had a fabulous birthday, and I hope that 2013 is a great year for you all. Emma x

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  21. Happy Birthday Amy and congratulations for doing your best to give her the best!

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  22. Happy 13th birthday to your teenager. My boy turned 13 on Dec 22nd!

    I've been patted on the back so many times too. I agree, it IS our job to do our best for our children but I am terribly proud of the difference me being his staunchest advocate has made. I also pat HIM on the back for all the hard work HE has done to get where he is today ;-)

    xx Jazzy

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  23. Happy Birthday Amy! I know this is a day late so I hope your day was a fantastic one!

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  24. Belated Happy Birthday to Amy. She is a fine young lady.
    It bothers me a bit when people can't accept my grandson but I must say that so far we haven't had much bother. and generally people accept his autism. (Sometimes it is the inner family who have most difficulty, I find.)
    Maggie x

    Nuts in May

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  25. How special to be 13 in the year 13.
    Love your Proud Mum post.
    She sounds like a formidable little girl, taking after her Mum.
    Liska x

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  26. Happy birthday! It seems like you had a great birthday huh!

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