As a father of an autistic child this guy caused me, for some years, to blame myself for allowing my son to have the MMR jab.
What symptoms does your son have that led him to be diagnosed as autistic? How does that impact your life compared to the parent of a non-autistic child?
Blimey, how long have you got?. First thing was as when he started to play with toys, such as wooden building blocks where he`d put one on top of the other until it fell over whereby he`d start screaming, he would repeat this ad nauseam for hours never doing anything else but one brick on top of the next. He became totally obsessed, and still is at 13, with Thomas the Tank Engine and wooden trains. Nothing we tried could divert his attention away from whatever he was doing and you could never join in and play with him without a screaming "tantrum".
His speech developed to the single word stage and has pretty much stayed the same since. Physically he was and still is absolutely normal and he is now as tall as me and growing like bamboo.
Then there is the obsession with food where he went for something like 5 years eating nothing but marmite on toast, something which has now stopped and his diet is quite varied. But still obsessive ~ breakfast currently is 2 pots of strawberry yoghurt, a packet of cheese and onion crisps, a pot of raspberry jelly and a bar of chocolate.
Worse is the challenging behaviour, he has no fear of anything and never has had so the house and garden is like Fort Knox. You cannot leave him alone for a minute, for instance we live near the sea and he loves a walk along the beach. One day he decided to walk into the sea and just kept going, fully clothed, halfway to France with the water up to his neck before I caught up. He can be violent and has been banned from various things like the school bus, youth clubs etc and will bang his head against anything close by when angry. As a toddler he would fill his nappy during the night and then spread the contents all over his bed, the walls, the carpet.
These are just a few examples of what my family has gone through for the last dozen or so years and its quite painful recalling some of it. Our social life stopped dead as no babysitter would come near us, my daughter who is 2 years older and perfectly normal, has some serious physcological problems with what she has endured throughout her childhood. Mrs H67 has come close on several occasions to a nervous breakdown. I used to sit at work dreading the next phone call from home. It got so unbearable that 3 years ago we threw in the towel and now he lives with a full time foster couple and we have him home at weekends and one evening a week and during the school holidays.
What kills me is that I had it all, the perfect family unit, for about a year. All my hopes and dreams come true and then I lost it to autism. No-one knows what caused it, no-one knows what the future holds. Never will I teach him to bowl inswing, take him to Upton Park, share my cars with him or take him down the pub.
So yeah I`d say that impacts my life.