About Me

Hi.  
Welcome to my blog.

🙂


I wanted to write just a little about me.  Some personal stuff that has made me who I am today.  It's the reason why I took up card making as a serious hobby and why I began this blog 'journey'...

I also wanted to write this to educate people as in this day and age it's hard to believe that this kind of thing still happens.

It's not a happy story.

Let me start by telling you a little about my daughter...


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She had her quirks...  don't get me wrong.  She was the baby who got startled by loud noises - even sneezing would reduce her to tears.  The toddler who took forever to eat anything - I'm talking an hour just for a tiny bowl of cereal.  The young girl who needed you to hold her hand just to walk up or down a kerb, who cried and wouldn't settle the first night of any time we went on holiday, who loved her soft toys as though they were real and had feelings of their own...

She hated friend's birthday parties.  They just weren't her thing.  She would cope for about an hour then sit on my knee crying because she wanted to go home but desperately wanted the party bag with the small piece of cake, the sweets, balloon and the tiny toy that you only got if you stayed 'til the end.

She also took things to heart.  When the school nurse came in to do a talk on 'healthy eating' it took weeks for me to persuade her that it was okay to have a treat every once in a while.  The same school nurse did a talk on 'hand washing' just the year before that had her washing her hands so thoroughly her skin was getting raw to the touch.

Everything changed in Year 3, Primary School...

Most of the class had had a nasty virus November of that year.  My daughter took over two weeks to get over it.  She was always unwell after that - just colds, etc...  but you could guarantee that if there was an illness going around she would get it and it would knock her for six.

Her teacher that year wasn't a 'good fit' either.  I had always told my daughter that as long as she worked hard and tried her best her teacher would like her.  This teacher proved me wrong.  

To make matters worse, she stopped eating at school.  She kept saying it was too noisy, gave her a headache and made her feel sick.  As I lived very close to the school I resorted to bringing her home to eat every lunchtime.  She would often cry when I took her back in the afternoon.  What was I supposed to do?

Then the nervous habit of 'swallowing air' and constant burping kicked in.  This went on for several weeks and culminated in my daughter screaming in agony every day after her evening meal.  I was often up with her until 1 or 2am every night.  

Many trips to the doctor...  and long story short, she ended up being admitted to a Children's hospital.

As I'm trying to keep this concise I'll skip over most of what happened over the next several weeks. She was in hospital throughout that time.  They observed her, did some medical 'investigations', etc...
and concluded that I was emotionally abusing my daughter.  

Our world's fell apart after that...

My husband and I were forced to have our 8 year old daughter admitted onto a psychiatric unit and threatened with the police and court action if we didn't comply.  

We later found out that they chose this course of action as they didn't believe it was 'safe' for her to be at home with us - especially as it was the long six week break from school and there would have been no one 'to keep an eye on us'.  That...  and they thought the psychiatric unit was the best place for them to substantiate their claims against me as visits were strictly between 6-8pm Mon-Fri and 10-4pm weekends...  and heavily monitored...

It was there, on the psychiatric unit, that we were told our daughter was on the Autistic Spectrum.  It took them less than a week to diagnose her.  

She stayed day and night at the unit for 2 weeks, then day release for another two whilst they gained their medical evidence to substantiate their diagnosis, clear my name and let our daughter come home to us.

But by then the damage was done...

This summer will be 5 years since all of that happened.  We all still carry the scars.  It took me 4 years just to begin to get myself back on track, to smile again.

As for my daughter...  I would say the same for her...  She came out of hospital a completely different child, a fragile 'shell' of her former self.

Our lives are very different now.  We rarely go out anywhere as my daughter can't cope with the glare from the sun, the smells from outside, the bugs...  and forget about eating out with all of those food smells.

My husband hates me saying it but the Donna that existed before all of this died.  She simply doesn't exist anymore

This is why I took up card making.  My 'therapy time'...
It took me more than a year to brave 'blog land' with all of it's talented people, though.  

Now I enter competitions, but not for the prizes...  Just to give myself a goal, something to focus on. Maybe that sounds lame, but it works for me  :)

If you do a quick internet search online you will see that this is still continuing to happen to other families.  Parents are STILL being falsely accused of child abuse simply because the 'professionals' don't stop to think that there could be other reasons for a child's behaviour.  
Autism in girls is not so rare - it's just different to boys a lot of the time.  
What the professionals saw as signs of abuse were simply my daughter being my daughter.  Like I had any control over that?  

Maybe one day they'll catch up...  but how many more families are they going to damage in the process?

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If you've read this...  thank you.  I know it's not pleasant to read about and that some may well 'judge me'...  but I would far rather educate people than have them think that it's no big deal to put families through this kind of trauma.  

Wishing you all the very best...

Donna   

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Anyone who knows me will know that this is old news.
Although my daughter began improving in some respects she quite clearly didn't in others.
If you want to know more, read my mini blog...  achildlikenoother.blogspot.co.uk.

12 comments:

  1. Donna, I'm so sorry this happened to your family! We have been blessed in that most school staff and medical personnel have been very supportive and helpful through our journey into the realm of learning and educating ourselves about our son's mental illness. It's been the comments from complete strangers that have shocked and saddened me. People with absolutely no idea what our son's situation is telling me at a store that I needed to spank him to improve his behavior or giving me dirty looks used to be a common occurrence when he was younger. Thankfully he is on meds that have really helped him, and he has learned ways to cope when things start to feel overwhelming. Thank you for sharing your journey and helping to educate people. May the Lord bless your family.

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    1. Hi Carrie.
      Sorry it's taken a while to get back to you... I've been mulling over what to say!
      The truth is my daughter gets a lot of dirty looks from people. They judge what they see on the outside... a pretty, but odd looking girl who wears sunglasses pretty much everywhere she goes (indoors as well as outdoors). She walks oddlly, too (only recently told she has one leg longer than the other - probably due to a just discovered slight curvature of the spine... and has a very young sounding voice. A lot of people don't move past the looks and give nasty comments. 'Retard' is the word her peer group use at school for the special,needs kids like her. Not all of them... but one is more than enough in my book.
      I guess it just took us a long time to readjust given our situation. I described it once as like my life being a jigsaw puzzle where someone had pulled all the pieces apart and then given me a shed load of new pieces minus the new, changed picture.
      Thanks for taking the time to comment, Carrie.
      Take care :)

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  2. You and your precious family are in my prayers. I pray for peace, and tranquility. I pray for small little moments of JOY! Sincerely LesLee

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    1. Thank you, LesLee. We are 'on the mend' as they say... and finally getting our daughter some much needed help regarding the physical pain she has had all her life. I only found out about it two years ago as she thought the pain was normal and like that for everyone! So... spinal surgeons in February, specialist footwear in a month or so and physiotherapy and occupational therapy in a few weeks time. Would you believe it if I said the paediatric consultant she had been under for about three years didn't pick up on any of these issues - dismissing them all as being 'in her head'? At least our doctor is supportive. I asked her to refer us for a second opinion and am so glad I did.
      Appreciate you taking the time to comment... and for your prayers.
      Donna. x

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  3. I wish you continued healing and lots more happiness. xxx

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  4. I am shocked that you had to go through such a devastating ordeal sweet friend. I had to look to see, to what you referred to, and am appalled at what I read. My two nephews are on the Autistic scale too, luckily, they were diagnosed early and my brother and his wife have had a lot of support and the 'boys' - now young men - function marvellously - I also used to work with such young adults and know the kind of 'stigma' unknowing, unfeeling people place upon these children/young adults who have enough to contend with on a daily basis without their ignorance adding to their burden. My prayers and thoughts are with you sweet friend. I think you are brave and courageous to have battled through such a dreadful, dreadful time and are now trying to 'educate' people on a subject that is so difficult to comprehend, unless you have had some kind of first-hand experience! Sending you love and prayers sweet friend! Hazel xx
    My Card Attic

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    1. Things have become much worse now - since Jan 5th of this year.
      Some days are unbearably difficult - so to ignore it all and have a friend like you helps more than you know. I don't know where I would be without my craft time and craft friends like you.
      Thank you so much, Hazel. X

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  5. I just read your story Donna. I am so sorry your families life has become even worse, but pray that the future is better...one little step at a time.
    Keep on using your card making as a positive, creative therapy.
    Take care...Hugs, Nancy

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    1. Thanks, Nancy.
      I've just started a second blog which will explain as much as I am able to... but it will take time to write and won't answer many questions.
      I've put the name of it on my side bar profile.
      Thanks for your prayers... X
      Donna

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  6. I just stopped in to look at one of your beautiful tags and ended up here. Your story brought tears to my eyes. I am so sorry that you and your family had to endure this. I wish you continued healing and the strength to cope with what life throws at you. I am glad that crafting has become your therapy because you are extremely talented and have such an eye for detail. I love your work! The way you photograph your projects looks very professional. Sending you hugs and wishes for peace and happiness!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by,.
      I'm sorry to say that things went from what we thought was 'getting better' to just about as worse as it can possibly get as if 5th January, 2016.
      I've just started a seperate blog about it - in the hopes that one day things for families like ours will change for the better.
      I appreciate your well wishes...
      Donna. X

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