I am a huge fan of the app ‘Time Hop’ and check it each morning for a reminder of past adventures and dramas! Today I read that eleven years ago to the date, Harry was officially diagnosed with autism.

a time hop post on the day of Harrys autism diagnosis

Eleven years. Is that all? It feels like an eternity. I have shared openly on my blog and social media that some days, managing Harry’s autism and all that comes with it can be challenging and exhausting for us all. Equally, I have been proud to share the parts of our life that have been made richer by Harry and all that he is.

me and Harry

Today though, eleven years to the date of Harry’s official diagnosis, I wanted to share eleven things with you that autism has taught me.


  1. That words are not the only way to communicate; love is a language in itself.


Oliver kisses Harry as I smile at the camera


2. That no matter how alone you feel, there are other parents who totally get how you feel but you have to be prepared to meet them and mingle! They will be your tribe and offer you light in times of darkness (or just sit with you till it passes). Find them and treasure them. (The picture below is me with Gemma, just one of the amazing friends I have made but don’t have photographs with them all!! Bugger!)

me and my friend Gemma

3. That there is no shame or blame when it comes to a diagnosis of autism.


4. That one day at a time is all any of us have and worrying about tomorrow robs us of our peace of mind today.


5. There is no denying that parents of children with disabilities have to fight for the basic rights of their children far too often. The love and dedication that fuels that fight is the most exhausting but motivating superpower in the world.

A young Harry smiles art the camera

6. That a diagnosis is not a definition! Share on X

7. That sleep is essential to every aspect of life and there were times when I pushed through that I should have rested (after being awake 13 times through the night or having only 3 hours sleep at all. If that’s you, please rest when you can. Your body keeps score!)

8. That mourning the mum I thought I would be is natural and that the mother I did become, is so much more. More than that, I am a better person because I am Harry’s mum.

9.That if I took away Harrys autism, he would be a different boy and not the one I love so much today.

10.That it’s ok to have a pity party some days – just don’t unpack and live there.

11.That there are more types of remote control on this Earth than I ever imagined, not enough Vtech toys and when you buy from abroad you risk it talking Chinese*


Thank you as always for being with us; for the highs and the lows, without judgement and with so much love and support. Having my boys may be my greatest achievement in life, but creating and being a part of this community is definitely in my top five!


Chat soon, Charlie xxx

If you are the mum of a child with a diagnosis and/or additional needs and you would value hearing from another mum who truly ‘gets it’ and often says what you feel too nervous to admit (plus a great community!) then sign up to my newsletter now! 

*If you don’t follow my social media channels, the Chinese reference is about a specific Vtech elephant that Harry wanted which had been discontinued in the UK. I was able to ship it in via eBay (in exchange for my kidney!) but it speaks Chinese and which we had somehow failed to consider!

If you enjoyed this blog you may also like to read:

To the mother with the life I will never know (one of my most popular blogs)

My child after diagnosis  

Raising a child with autism – does it get easier? 



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