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The First time!

The first time the realisation hit me; that moment when you realise that all your hopes and dreams for your kids for the future looks completely different than what you anticipated.

That moment for me was one warm sunny afternoon looking out the window, watching two friends walk home from school, laughing chatting and mucking about like all kids should! But my kids weren’t like other kids, they weren’t even in school because the school system had failed them repeatedly, we had to home-school for a number of years. It hit me that afternoon that my girls may never have that experience, may never know what it’s like to walk home from school, back pack on back kicking stones along the street. That they may never know what it is to have a sleep over or call a friend on the phone.

I sat there in a stunned silence; tears flowing down my face. My heart sank because our reality was so different from the norm. For those of us that have children with a disability there are times when there is a grief and a sadness that words cannot explain, that others do not comprehend. We grieve for the future they may never have, for the friends they may never know, for the independence they may never experience and for the life that is lived so differently.

But most of all we grieve for the rejection, for the people who ignore them down the street, for the ones that talk behind out backs and label us dysfunctional and for the shop owners that hope we never enter their store. For the isolation that only we know, because others simply don’t understand or comprehend the circumstances we face daily.

However there is one thing we do not grieve for and that is the beauty that our children bring into the world.  It’s for the compassion that is elicited by those who do care, the love that is shown and the very few who accept us and our children without question. Thank you! You make an incredible difference in our lives.

The greatest joy of all is seeing them developing into the amazing people that they are, that despite their obstacles, despite their difficulties,  despite the rejection they have faced, they shine brighter than any star and they show the world that anything is possible.  That being different isn’t a curse, it isn’t something that needs to be cured, being different changes our world; it makes it a better place, one filled with compassion hope and inspiration.

While there may be times of grief, there are times of inexplicable joy as we celebrate those differences and recognise that despite the challenges,  this journey with all its bumps, difficulties and joys is a gift, one that enriches us, changes us and humbles us.

My girls are a gift and an inspiration, grief is temporary but the joy they bring lasts a lifetime.


Author – Rachel Gray – Mum to 3 gorgeous girls, 2 who have Fragile X – Syndrome and Autism, and her 3rd daughter has had her Autism Diagnoses lifted  J Rachel is an amazing Mum, Advocate and friend to many.