Friday, 22 August 2014

Thank You!

G-Dad and myself would like to take this opportunity to say a massive 

Photo Source :

 for the extremely generous donations we have received so far, for Gabriel.

We cannot express enough how grateful we are and how much your contributions will help in ensuring Gabriel’s therapies continue.

Thank you for being one of Gabriel’s Angels.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Living with Autism - A Parent's Perspective

Photo compliments of The Brilliant Assistant!prettyPhoto[fancy_img_group_370]/7/

Imagine a young, foreign, boy arrives at your door.

He comes from a remote village, from the edge of the world where they speak a language never before heard of. He doesn't seem to understand the language that you speak and you do not understand his.  As you can imagine, this would make communication difficult. In time, he seems to start to understand your language, but you still do not understand his. So he communicates by leading you around by the hand, "throwing" it towards what he wants.  If you still battle to understand him, he becomes, understandably, frustrated. This results in episodes of screaming and, often, what appears to be self-injurious behaviour - head-banging or head slapping. Often, talking to him and attempting to physically comfort him doesn't stop this from happening.

Being from a primitive place, he hasn't had to endure all of modern living's inventions. His senses seem to be especially heightened and he seems to battle to filter out noise, strong smells and bright lights. This, I would assume, has to be scary for him and make him very anxious, especially when he is tired.  I would equate it to always expecting someone to jump out from behind every corner, screaming at you. Sometimes I think he would appreciate a mute button on a remote control of life.

Most foods seem to feel really strange in his mouth.  He gags really easily when just looking at some foods.  So he has a very limited diet as a result - with lots of supplements crushed up and hidden in the foods that he will eat.  

It is no wonder, from the above, that he seems to love a very rigid routine.  I guess I would also like to know what to expect, moment to moment, in such a strange place.

He appears to battle a lot with sleep, often waking up for a three hour stretch each night. This is one of those great mysteries.  Does he just not need a lot of sleep or does he battle to relax enough to fall into a deep sleep?

He appears to be very interested in his fellow modern child, but seems unable to engage with the child. Perhaps the communication barrier is an issue or maybe he finds them unpredictable?  Maybe he just doesn't know how to interact with them?

So this is a just a small glimpse of what it is like for us, as parents, living with Autism.  It can be very challenging and emotionally exhausting but very rewarding too.  I can only imagine how hard it must be for Gabriel.  That is why we call him our Champion.

One day, I have no doubt, Gabriel will be able to post his own blog here, explaining what it is like for him to live with Autism.

Until then, we continue this journey together, as foreigners.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Something Magical Happened

The thing about having a child on the Spectrum is you almost never know what to expect.  For some reason, they weren’t born with a manual either ;).

Because their development in this world is quite different, one cannot predict when they will crawl, walk, talk etc.  So when they do, it’s like Santa Claus came to visit early!

On the evening of the 7th August 2014 something truly magical happened.

Gabriel’s daddy (let’s call him G-Dad from now on) bent down to kiss Gabriel goodnight on the cheek.  Every night, it is the same routine.  G-Dad bends down, says “kiss Daddy goodnight” and he then proceeds to kiss each of Gabriel’s cheeks.  Gabriel then toddles off to bed.

This night was different.  G-Dad bent down, said, “kiss Daddy goodnight”. Gabriel looked up at him, puckered his lips and gave his Daddy his very first kiss!

Now to many of you, this might not seem like a phenomenal event.  Let me explain why it is.

It has taken Gabriel 4 years, 1 month, 3 weeks and one day to give his very first kiss.  Ever. 

Naturally, I jumped in and said, “Can Mommy have a kiss too please?”

Lips puckered up and smooch.

Best kiss ever!

Photo credit :

Monday, 11 August 2014

The Autism Diagnosis Aftermath – A Parent’s Perspective

When a parent receives the official, in-black-and-white, no-turning-back, diagnosis of ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) a journey of self-discovery begins.  You climb onto that emotional see-saw and thousands of different thoughts race through one’s mind. 

It is then that you realise that you are actually in the process of wading through the five stages of grief.

Photo by : Stephen Criscolo


He doesn’t seem that autistic?  Doctors make mistakes all the time.  Why do they feel the need to label everything?  He’ll probably outgrow it.


As time passes, reality is sinking in.  Why him?  It’s not fair!


We will do whatever needs to be done if he can just be ‘healed’.  We will sacrifice whatever we need to if he could just start to talk.


As time progresses further, depression starts to set in, and guilt.  A whole lot of guilt.  What did I do wrong?  Was it the time I fell in the shower during the 1st trimester? Or the time he rolled off of the bed when I turned my back for 2 seconds?  Will we ever hear him speak?  Hear those 3 wonderful words, “I love you”?  Will we ever see him play with a friend?  Or hold their hand?  Will he be able to be independent, able to take care of himself?  What if we die before he grows up?  The lack of not knowing what will happen in the future can be daunting and overpowering.  Some parents stay in this stage for many years.  And some bypass it completely.


And finally, you get to a point where you have to make a choice. 

You can either choose to continue to wallow in that dark abyss, or you can take a leap of faith and say, ‘screw it’!  You accept your child is different.  

Different – not less. 

And that’s ok.  There will be days that you will miss the sense of ‘normalcy’, but also days where you have a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a completely different outlook on life, through the eyes of your child.  An opportunity to be courageous and join a completely different world.

And that is the choice we have made.

We accept Gabriel for the unique, wonderful and different – not less – angel that he is. 

The world should too. 

Monday, 4 August 2014

Welcome to Gabriel's Angels!

Well, hello everybody! 

Welcome to Gabriel's Angels blog :).

After two months of work on our website, we are very proud to finally have it up and running. 

Feel free to go clicky clicky on the following:

Blogging has always been one of my passions (Gabriel's mommy here) and I look forward to sharing with you Gabriel's life journey (and ours) - which will include the ups and downs - in the world of Autism.

So please, feel free to subscribe, via the e-mail option, to be notified each time I post a blog.  'Cos really, they will be riveting ;).

Comments - respectfully worded ones - on this blog will also be greatly appreciated.  And I ask that all viewpoints be respected.

Thank you for reading!

P.S.  Feel free to share too.