Entries by Miriam Gwynne

When Autism Fidget Toys Become the Latest Craze

“Mum, it’s like everyone wants to be autistic like me now!” My 8-year-old daughter announced this as she came out of school on Monday.  She was referring to the latest “craze” for the fidget spinner in her school (and it seems every other school in the country). Suddenly it was “cool” to want to fidget, […]

Four Things My Severely Autistic Son Has Taught Me

Having a baby is the most wonderful, humbling, exhausting experience I have ever known. I thought it would be a challenge, but that I would also learn and gain so much. Then one day my baby was diagnosed with severe autism. Everything I had ever known about parenting suddenly changed. I went from being the teacher to […]

When You Still Get Flashbacks to Diagnosis Day

Some days stay in your memory for a long time: the day you gave birth, your wedding day perhaps, or even the day you graduated from high school or university. Unfortunately for me, one of the days that is stuck in my mind is the day my precious son was diagnosed with autism. I am […]

When Your Child Won’t Eat at Christmas

I could have stopped this title early and just said, “when your child won’t eat.” That is my life, but somehow at Christmas it just seems so much worse. Ask people what they associate with Christmas Day and, after presents, Santa, and perhaps family, many will answer “Christmas dinner.” Advertisers have a field day this […]

A Cry for Help

If you were walking home in the dark one night and heard a female screaming for help, would you view those screams as challenging behaviour? What if you were in a hospital and heard a child cry? Would you see that as challenging, or would you be more sympathetic? We all understand that the lady […]

The Hidden Epidemic Affecting Autism Parents

I had a message from a fellow autism parent this week. Two words of that message have impacted me greatly. She wrote: “I’m struggling.” It is so common for me to hear this. It is the centre piece of every support group, the most common theme on online autism forums, the single most heard phrase when […]

Turning a Simple Shed Into a Sensory Sanctuary

Most parents buy their children clothes, toys and other essential items, and use their garden space for barbecues, swings and kicking a ball about. However, I am an autism parent and that makes me think quite differently at times. Both of my children have significant sensory needs. My son has other complex medical needs and […]

The Day My Daughter Surprised Us All

My daughter had been in school for almost two years, but her anxiety was still as high as it was on Day One. I had chosen to defer her starting school so, although she was one of the smallest in her class, she was actually one of the oldest. The staff described her as a very […]