2 entirely different things.

My girl can talk.
She has trouble communicating.

Children on the autism spectrum range from being non verbal up to being able to being able to converse.
One thing all children on the spectrum have in common is difficulties in communication.

My girl can talk…..alot….and loudly.
Ask her about Minecraft, Pokémon or her soft toys and she will talk at you for hours.
… you.
Not with you.

It is so difficult.
For me.
For her.
For everyone.

People see her chatting and assume she has no problems.
They assume she will tell you if she has a problem, if she is struggling, if she is in pain.
But she doesn’t.
It breaks my heart.

She can, eventually, tell me.
The one and only person she will tell.

I collected her from school and her teacher said she had done well in maths today to manage without her TA.
We left school and she looked upset.
Friday, tired, school….could have been a number of things.
I asked but she growled at me. A sign there is something but she won’t say what.

Later she said “I wasn’t good at maths. I couldn’t see”.
My girl has a visual impairment.
Her eyes are fine but the pathway to the part of the brain that interprets what she sees is damaged.
What she sees is not what we see and causes her alot of problems with depth perception etc.
It fluctuates daily and some days are good, some days are bad.
Certain things make it so much worse.
It can get so bad that her vision switches off temporarily.

Squared paper.
The stuff they use in maths.
It has always made her eyes go funny. She gets, from what she has described, blind spots, wavy lines, double vision, extreme bright light, temporary loss of vision.
Today she said she could see only spots of work and the lines were moving.
She couldn’t see the sequences.
She didn’t tell anyone.
I knew she wouldn’t.

Imagine the fear she must have felt.
Imagine the emotions it evoked.
Imagine not being able to interpret those emotions.
Not being able to communicate them.
Keeping it bottled up all day.
Feeling like a failure because she didn’t do her work.

2 completely different things.


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