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A video below (another montage) using some words taken from Welcome to Holland, Welcome to Beirut and Holland Schmolland. I’m personally not really into a lot of the prose or poetry that gets passed around about disability. It can be a bit saccharine. Holland Schmolland makes me laugh though.

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When I first made the video I wrote the words below. Reflecting a little, I think challenging can be really very difficult indeed, and I don’t want to downplay how difficult challenging can be. But it isn’t all bad and I think it helps in appreciating the good things in life:

When you have a child with a disability, well meaning people tend to pass on stories and poetry. Reactions to being given these vary from gratitude and recognition to outright anger. They’re not always helpful.

If you have a child with autism you will no doubt at some stage be given Welcome to Holland by Emily Perl Kingsley, Welcome to Beirut by Susan F. Rzucidlo and Holland, Schmolland by Laura Krueger Crawford. These vary in style, and I don’t really identify 100% with any of them but all three share something in common. They say that although there’s an initial shock and although life can remain challenging it also becomes good again.

In our case life has become very good. My son is 10 now, has one word and is always going to be severely autistic. Theres no fairytale ending for him. However, he has always been in the words of Holland, Schmolland ‘a fun loving affectionate boy’. His life is full and active and now we have built up a good support network a lot of fun for all of us. Challenging? Certainly. But theres nothing wrong with that. Some of the best days of my life have occurred because my son has severe autism, rather than despite it. Hes introduced me to a world I didn’t even know existed.

We no longer fear his autism and we no longer see it as a life sentence (although it will certainly be lifelong). His life is not a tragedy or a second class existence. It is a great life. With only one chance at life you do have to take it and fill it full of experiences. There’s no reason for disability to alter that (and therein lies the reason that support and help for families is so essential – in the case of a child with severe autism is really does take a village).

In this video I’ve taken bits from Welcome to Holland, and Welcome to Beirut and Holland Schmolland, so none of the text is mine.

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