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Louise Cummins, author of A different kind of brilliant shares her journey from when her son got his autism diagnosis…from despair back to hope.

When I was pregnant I was so excited to think about my son’s future – I dreamt of him doing amazing things and taking the world by storm.

After 18 months, I could see Lachlan was different, he was just in his own world. He was happy, but found he was always running around and not interacting like other kids. As time went on his energy levels became worse and family and friends kept questioning my parenting.

The Dreaded News

After a series of assessments (including a childcare visit) I received a call from our developmental paediatrician with the news; ‘Yes, I’m afraid your son does have autism’. Some people feel relieved at the diagnosis but my heart just smashed. This particular paediatrician then painted a picture of the worst-case scenario; ‘It was unlikely he would live independently, have friends or have a job’. it was at that point, he took away the one thing parents need…hope.

We Did Everything!

Over the next 4 years, I threw myself and Lachlan, into early intervention to prove that specialist wrong. The trouble was there was no clear-cut path for early intervention with so many choices. We did everything – from lying in hammocks, behavioural therapy, music therapy, water therapy, speech therapy, and even alternative therapies. One thing was clear, our world now revolved around therapy and all experts kept telling me we were still not doing enough. After spending most of my savings we started seeing improvements but we were both exhausted.

After one particularly gruelling week, my little man was watching Trolls on his iPad and the ‘True Colors’ song started playing. He had never really sung before and he said ‘Mummy listen to this’ and he sang it. When he sang ‘your true colours are beautiful like a rainbow’ tears rolled down my cheeks. I realised at that moment the person I needed to change the most wasn’t him…it was me.

Journey Of Hope

I set out on a mission to find hope in our diagnosis. I researched success stories, deleted negative news feeds on my social media and focused on making my little man the best version of himself.  I started to embrace his quirkiness (like carrying around a sweet potato instead of a teddy bear). I even felt braver to respond to people’s negativity and regained confidence in my parenting.

For Lachlan’s Christmas present last year, I decided to write a book for him to understand his autism. A story featuring famous people in history who had autism, such as Einstein, Michelago, and Mozart, who all used their special autistic gifts to change the world. I wanted him to see his uniquely wired brain as a gift, not a curse.

Lachlan loved his book and I did extra copies to help our ‘village’ understand him. Their support was overwhelming and more orders from friends of friends started coming, so I decided to launch the book online. I was overwhelmed once the website went live with people sharing all over the world.

My goal for the book is to spread the word of acceptance of differences and make children on the spectrum feel more confident about their uniquely wired brains.

Lachlan is now thriving and I can see a mainstream school in our future. I don’t stress so much about the future now as I’ve regained the one thing all parents need…hope.

Louise’s book – A different kind of brilliant is available for purchase for AUD$24.95 via adifferentkindofbrilliant.com – 10% of all Australian direct sales from the website will be donated to Autism Spectrum Australia.

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  • Keep your head up lovely, you’re doing and amazing job and your little boy is gorgeous

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  • Einstein I didn’t know, makes sense, brilliant and quirky. It makes me happy as I and other family have it.

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  • Great story – most mothers of autistic children I know constantly tell me how wonderful their child is in completely different areas to the norm. And usually they are brilliant.

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  • What an inspirational story, a mother’s love!

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  • What an amazing thing to do writing a book for him. Very heart warming.

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  • What a wonderful post. My tears are just drying because all the people I know with autistic children are beyond this book, but how much it would have helped them with their children!!!

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  • Truly beautiful, every mothers dream is to see their children happy! And do what ever we can to make it happen.

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  • this story bought tears to my eyes

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  • That’s really difficult

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  • Being a mum is hard, even harder when we’re trying to find answers what will make our child happy.
    The more books go out about autism, the more we’re aware about every child’s quirks n loves.

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  • I love seeing people talking about the positives in disability and not focusing on the negative

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  • I’m glad that society in general seems to be moving towards celebrating differences :)

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  • what a lovely story. we have a child on the spectrum and she has grown into a gorgeous, capable adult… will look into getting the book

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  • I know of a child overseas who was diagnosed with Autism before his 2nd birthday. One of the first things they started was speech therapy. It took a long time before he said any words they could understand at all. In his early teens he could say abbreviated sentences. He misses words but you can understand what he is trying to say. In comparison some states the medical system for Autism is shocking. They often won’t consider trying to give diagnosis until the child starts school. So much time is lost and the child gets so frustrated not being able to communicate that behaviour can become a huge issue.

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  • I have an old school friend who has an autistic son and was diagnosed herself as being autistic as an older person. She is now an activist for autistic children, writing a blog and doing talks. Her name is Lou Brown, look her up on Facebook, she’s fantastic on the subject of autism.

    Reply

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