In the earlier years of Hugo’s existence, the pain and aguish his little face portrayed robbed me of my sleep and my happiness; his non-stop crying throughout the day and the night, the continuous sickness without avail.
Then death’s door knocked at 6 months old, hospitalised with pneumonia.
And on it went.
Week after week.
A new virus, a new bacterial infection, a new cough & cold.
Then there were no words, no sitting, no walking.
I had unspeakable sadness for a child trapped in a body of pain & fever.
There were times when I was so desperate and depressed I imagined leaving him on the side of the road, it was all just too hard.
The whole lot.
And then the words Autism & Intellectual Impairment starting circulating and my depression plummeted.
Those words. What did they mean?
I wasn’t equipped to deal with this.
I was the result of a society’s stigmatisation around disabilities.
I didn’t know any different.
I was scared of the unknown.
After 6 years of incorporating early intervention strategies into our family & pre-school setting I began to see a glimmer of something. A little bit of language, a little bit of social interaction, a little bit of ‘can do’s.’
Now I see a boy who I never thought would walk or talk let alone ride a push bike without training wheels have interests in skateboarding, playing the drums and learning at school.
The road has been very dark; torturous at times and absent of dreams for the future.
But finally life is starting to make small shifts forward.
And now there is hope.