Dad Andrew Choyce with his autistic son Isaac

Why does Autism Acceptance matter?

By Andrew Choyce

April is Autism Acceptance Month – so we asked one of our supporters, Andrew, who is dad to an autistic son, Isaac, to share his thoughts on why autism acceptance matters…

Meet lsaac, he’s 4 years old. Isaac is on the autism spectrum with a potential PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance) profile.

For the past 2.5 years we’ve been on this ASC journey. First we thought his development was delayed due to being a twin, then due to Covid, then we thought he’d catch up anyway, until we accepted and sought a ASC diagnosis to help him, which took months of fighting.

This was followed by a battle for a specialist school placement. Both the diagnosis and the school placement required several meetings and private reports to “prove “ what Isaac needed.

Life is changing. What we thought his childhood journey would look like is different to what it will be and, unashamedly, some days can feel too much.

Isaac struggles to transition from something he is enjoying, can’t always control his emotions, cannot accept the word “No”, and is overwhelmed due to sensory issues.

However, we’ve heard a lot over the past two years on what Isaac can’t do, and any parent of a SEND child will tell you how soul destroying those conversations are.

But, let me tell you what he loves… Isaac loves baking (and doesn’t always eat his produce!). He loves playing with water, whether that’s a puddle or a pool, and more than anything, whatever the time or weather, he loves ice cream!

So, why am I sharing this? Because Isaac has taught us more about the importance of communication than anyone else. Communication is so much more than just what you’re saying, it’s also about what you’re doing.

Isaac is a little different to other children, but that’s okay. It’s also okay for us to not be okay on this journey – it’s tough/ frustrating/ thankless at times, but we’re hopeful that society is slowly becoming more tolerant to neurodiversity in this age.

Neurodiverse children become neurodiverse adults… we are constantly learning and I hope others do too.

Please do watch out for any comms you see this month, as it might just make life a little easier for Isaac and his neurodiverse tribe!

Find out more about Autism Acceptance Month on our website, where you’ll find enjoyable and informative resources – including videos, presentations, quizzes, and a Funbook to download and printout…

Andrew Choyce with his son Isaac