Autism Awareness: a Single Mum’s Experience

Veronica Saputo, proud founder of Dreamygo, shares her story and experience with autism.

What is your relationship with autism?

I’ve started to discover more about autism in the past few months. This is because my 2-year old child, Diego, has been temporarily diagnosed under the autistic spectrum.

What was your initial reaction to your son’s diagnosis?

I felt lost. Shocked. It felt like the world fell down on me. It was a tough and disheartening time, until I realized there was another way to look at it.

What helped you process the news?

We are afraid of what we don’t know. Research and reading were very important for me, to understand what this new diagnosis actually meant. Autism is widely misunderstood – it isn’t a disease, or a pathology, it’s just a different way of your brain to function.

What have your next steps been?

Looking for help, first of all for Diego, and then for myself. Diego is responding really well to his therapies, which are Speech Therapy and Early Start Denver Model. These early aids are very important and can allow autistic people to develop social and behavioral skills, enabling them to be independent when they grow up.

What kind of help did you look for for yourself then?

The support of other people in my same situation. Knowing that I’m not alone and that there are so many other parents working with understanding their children’s spectrum has been very helpful. I signed up for community groups of parents of autistic children, and I got to know autistic adults. All of this is helping me on the journey, and I’m finding new and hopeful ways of understanding Diego’s condition.

What’s your advice for mums in the same situation?

Don’t freak out. Autism is extremely common, with one case every 68 children aged 8 (Center for Disease Control and Prevention Epidemiology Program Office). Find the right support for your child and know that this will not stop them from achieving their dreams!