For Laura, being a carer is just part of being a Mum. “I have learnt to be patient, not expect too much and do a lot of repeating to achieve the simplest of goals,” Laura says.
As a young child, Laura’s son Christian did not make eye contact. Laura remembers that he always wanted to be ahead on walks and communicated only through noises. At three years old Christian was diagnosed with autism, and Laura suddenly found herself in a caring role.
For Laura, being a carer is just part of being a Mum.
“I have learnt to be patient, not expect too much and do a lot of repeating to achieve the simplest of goals,” Laura says.
Christian is now 18 years old and mainly non-verbal. As she watches her son transition into adulthood, Laura is learning to take risks to encourage Christian’s independence.
This week, Laura sent Christian off on public transport independently to attend a horticultural program. As frightening as sending Christian on his own was, Laura was excited at what this could mean for his independence. While Laura tracked his phone, Christian successfully navigated two tram rides and crossed major roads on his own. Unable to help herself, Laura watched Christian cross the road from 200 metres away, concealing herself (or so she thought) in a bush, but Christian had a sixth sense that his Mum was watching him. He called Laura to tell her there was no bus, when Laura asked him where he was, he told her the exact location (which Laura had verified herself) and asked Laura to pick him up. Recognising where he was and navigating public transport on his own is a huge milestone for Christian. Being a carer can mean many things – for Laura, sometimes it means being a spy!
Laura knows how valuable reading a carer story can be for others on a similar journey. Her message to carers is simple, “Don’t give up and keep soldiering on.”