Friday, 19 July 2013

Campbell the STAR!!!

I love visiting the Children's Hospital at Westmead these days. We are met with admiring fans who have all sorts of nice things to say. Just yesterday I was asked by a member of the Orthotics team if Campbell 'ever got angry about anything'. According to her she has never seen him cross or upset about anything at all. I smiled and offered my gratitude. I was bursting with pride and took the moment to feel proud of my teenage son (nearly 15- but let's not discuss that). He knew so many people as we made our way through the corridors, some that I couldn't recall or perhaps had never met myself. They all knew him and were more than happy to stop for a chat and to accept his compliments- because those compliments were in abundance!!
He was so kind and made the effort to comment on new hairstyles, lost weight and 'you look pretty good for your age!!!!!!' When he asked our lovely nurse why she didn't like 'Mary' who happened to be walking past at the time, everyone laughed with good nature, and dismissed it as a Campbell Funny. Goodness knows why he assumed that one workmate didn't like the other- but the awkwardness was quickly passed over.

It is a genuine pleasure to take my Campbell to appointments these days. He now works very hard to try to make polite conversation, interpret reactions and apologise when inappropriate slips out (like...' you look very old for your age don't you?') He is ever so charming and wins smiles where ever we go.
Please rest assured parents of autistic children who are now wondering how you can end up with an equally charming teenager. We have indeed travelled a rocky road to get here, but please know that you are not a bad parent- and don't listen to the people who tell you so.
The scars you have as a result of scratching and biting will fade but be a constant reminder of how far your child has come and the wonderful job you have done in supporting them.
The many tantrums will result in a better awareness of what your child needs and how to avoid triggers.
The wonderful professionals who care for your child have very short memories and are also very forgiving.

He is quite adamant that he will be a doctor one day...or at least offer up our dog Charlie as a companion to sick children. Charlie will most certainly scoff their dinner and poo in the corner, but I am certain that Campbell will make a positive difference to sick kids one day. He would be a wonderful companion, cheering them up and making silly jokes. It is the perfect role for him.
I am so much a better person and mum because of my handsome young man.

Thank you Campbell xxxxxx

PS I still feel guilty about the $5 note we found on the path as we were leaving. Although I did immediately look around to see if anyone had dropped it, Campbell said that we shouldn't have it because it belonged to someone else!! I didn't know what I was supposed to do with it, but Campbell did spend $6 on books later that day- do you think it is fair to call it even???

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