GLOSS Issue 2 ( July / August 2017 ) - Page 34

PA R E N T I N G The Special Journey Mums of Children with Text By Ruhie Jamshed H aving a child is one of the most exhilarating events in the life of a woman. For most, life transforms into being almost entirely about their little one. A mum closely watches her child and eagerly anticipates his every move, the first eye contact, the first smile, the first word, the first step. Communication is one means of strengthening the bond between mother and child. However, for some, those moments remain elusive due to a developmental disorder, known as autism. Here, four brave and inspiring mothers, tell us their story on living life with a child on the Autism Spectrum. The Signs Amina Asad says, “I started noticing changes in Abdullah when he was two and a half. He stopped eye 34 contact and babbling and went mute.” In fact, all four mothers, point out to similar signs such as lack of eye contact and no response to their child’s names being called out. “It was almost as if he was hearing-impaired,” says Donna Van Vuuren who noticed these signs much earlier when her son, Ethan, now 10, was 9 months old. Donna recalls, “My mum, who had many other grandchildren before Ethan, noticed that he wasn’t babbling a single word. She alerted me to the peculiarity much earlier on.” Other than early detection, Donna was also a lot luckier in getting the family support she needed but for many other mothers, it’s a battle to convince those