Every Christmas is spent at grandma’s house. its usually an open-house style with caterers, drinks everywhere, the music a little too loud and adults talking loudly over each other having heated discussion about one thing or the other. Usually with about 100 guest ranging from babies to toddlers, young adults and the older folks.

Last Christmas was not any different. There must have been about 50 people there. I tried to pack safe replicas of the food that was served with handy snacks. It worked for a while. But he got restless and he was suddenly interested in grabbing and rubbing elbows, a sensory seeking habit he sometimes indulge in. At some point I stood across the room and saw from any other adult’s perspective : Normal looking boy, nicely dressed, grabbing little kids and trying to rub their elbow. I prolly would have kept my child away from him, however I know this is my reality. I know my son wasn’t trying to be a nuisance or badly behaved little kid, he was having a sensory processing issue which is very common with kids on the spectrum and needed a sensory input for balance with all the chaos going on around him.

Three years ago, my world was completely changed, my child was flagged for possible global delay and later diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder a condition characterised by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviours, speech and non verbal condition. Since then I been on the journey of the discovery of a world that is different but not less.

This is my ASD story, welcome to my world.

By Solape Azazi

Solape Azazi is the Executive Director & Founder of Cradle Lounge Special Needs Initiative, an organization dedicated to increasing awareness, acceptance and inclusive learning. She is a wife and mother of 2 boys, one of who was diagnosed with ASD at the age of 3.

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