This loving open letter will warm your heart
The mum of an autistic boy has written a powerful open letter to help people understand what life can be like for autistic children.
Nicole Duggan created the Facebook page My Boy Blue as a New Year's Resolution to herself to help spread awareness of autism.
Her three-year-old son Riley was diagnosed with autism in June last year. Nicole was inspired to start up the page because, she said, she has "realised how many people don't understand autism and how many people want to learn about it."
The honesty of the post could be why it has been shared so often. Nicole says:
"When you find out you are going to be a mom, you dream of holding your little baby for the first time, you dream of dressing them up, showing them off and obsessing over their every move. You dream of their first word, the first time they will clap their hands, the first time they wave goodbye and of course their first steps. All of the 'normal' things.
"Well in my house these things are far from normal. Yes we had some of them, but they have disappeared. Words were lost, milestones missed and many tears were cried along the way. This is not 'laziness' on his part. It is not him being stubborn and it most certainly is not him acting up.
"My little boy is just like your child, he loves to dance, he loves to be cuddled, he cries when he falls, and he adores Mickey Mouse. He is however 'wired differently'."
Nicole's truthful words are very hard-hitting, as she goes on to explain what goes throuhg little Riley's mind: "The small things we take for granted every day are the hardest things for him to cope with. Different lights, sounds, smells or even the look of something can cause an overload that is too hard for an adult to deal with, let alone my little boy. 'Normal things' such as going shopping, playing in a kids playzone, or even a hair cut can be unbearable for him."
She then gives advice to people who are judgemental towards her and her little boy: "To the people that stare at him because he hums, join in with his little singsong, because in his eyes he is singing the best song in the world.
"To the mothers that pull their children away from him, you are creating the bullies of the future. Children don’t notice the differences they just want to play, let them.
"To the lady that called him bold in the supermarket, try to look at things from his perspective. An overload of colours and sounds. People whizzing past you. You too would cry your eyes out if you could not tell anyone how you are feeling when it all gets too much.
"To the friends that have disappeared, I hope this never knocks on your front door. I would not change my small man for the world and if you cannot understand him and how he works, then you do not deserve to be in his life in the first place."
She finished the post by sticking up for her son, as all mothers do: "Children with needs are the bravest, most courageous and most amazing little people in this world. They are fighting battles nobody knows and I guarantee not one adult would make it through half of the obstacles they do. Just because there is not a physical difference does not mean they are simply 'bold'.
"So this year I ask you to think before you judge, live a day in my small man's shoes and you will understand how much of a superhero he really is."
Nicole's post has been shared over 360 times (Credit: Facebook/ My Boy Blue)
Nicole's post went viral almost immediately, and has now been shared over 360 times with 108 comments.
Her words resonated with many other parents of disabled children. Marisa Curtin sadi: "My thoughts are your thoughts! I am mom to a 4-year-old boy on the spectrum. I praise you mama, for coming right out and saying it! If you judge people, you have no time to love them."
Malinda Manley commented: "Thank you!!! I was nodding my head agreeing with you the entire time I read this!!! Just because he doesn't look different people assume my 4 year old is just a brat and I need parenting advice, when in reality I want to praise him for how well he's behaving!!!"
Suzanne Warburton praised Nicole for speaking out: "Thank you for standing up. Only together will people start listening. I believe it is not a disgrace, not an obligation but an utter privilege to raise me now 5 1/2 year old moderately autistic son... I need to make myself worthy to be his mum. He is my teacher and my guide and I love him to bits. So thank you for speaking up because it helps me feel like one person talking."
Since setting up the page at the beginning of January, she now has over 4,500 followers.
When we asked her what inspired the name of the page, she said: "I don't know really - blue is the colour often associated with Autism, and it just popped into my head!"
Sounds like a good reason to us!
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