Monday, 16 March 2009

About a girl who didn't like love

Once upon a time a little girl was born. She was
tiny and so cute we both loved her immediately.
We gave her a name - Cirwen. Her Dad gave her
the first kiss and she didn't close her eyes until
he left the hospital, as if to make sure he doesn't
do it again.

She grew a little and with every kiss given to her by
anyone came a disapproving grunt . She was still a baby,
so I thought not much of that.

Cirwen became a toddler. This time with every kiss
came a scream and I knew then that my little girl
does not like to be kissed. Hugs came more easily,
but it was on her own conditions. She had to want
to be so close to someone. If I demanded a hug she
would come to me, but her little body would become
stiff, rigid and she would sigh in relief once I let go.

She grew a little more and started to use some words.
Not many. As any other mother I could not stop the
so natural impulse to show her my affection. This time
in her limited vocabulary she shouted "No kisses! No love!"
between the tantrums and screams. And ... there I was won-
dering. Why my little girl cannot accept my love? What am
I doing wrong? I looked at her and, now I know, there were
the obvious signs: walking on tip toes, delayed speech,
no eye contact...

I did ask my health visitor about the fact that Cirwen was
almost 3 and could not put three words together. I was
dismissed with the very thin theory, that Cirwen is brought
up in a bilingual home (I spoke Polish, Dad spoke English).
I wasn't convinced, but what can you do, when they treat
you like a hysterical first time mum?

And so, I didn't kiss, I didn't say "I love you". Cirwen was
happier - I screamed silently. It hurt so much not be able
to even voice what I felt for my own child.

Cirwen finally went to a wonderful pre-school with a wonderful
team of teachers, and thanks to them we received the diagnosis
- ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder). It all started to make sense
from here. I read, spoke to other parents and read again. I have
started to speak English only at home and speech improved
very quickly.

Cirwen became very fond of certain words and one of them
was "cute". Since she didn't like kissing, as it was an action
invading her personal space so important to an autistic person,
she also didn't like the word "love". That's because it meant
the same as kissing. It didn't mean she didn't love us. She
invented another way to express her feelings; and so , till she
was about seven years old she said "I cute you!" We "cuted
her" too. Another year and she accepted the first kiss from
me "but not on the skin - on the hair". That was enough for
both her Dad and me. I cried. My girl loved me - I was not
a bad mother. Cirwen was only learning it is safe to be close
to another person.


    REPO is so good!
    WOAH! just as i was writing that blind mag just did you eye thing!

  2. hey thats so kids are 4 and 2 so i really feel for what you went glad u found a way through x

    lisa x

  3. REPO should be out tomorrow about 5.
    wow i just read that post.
    i'm 16 and i'm not really too keen on contact and i do ard to say "i love you" but inside i think i do (appart from the people i really don't like).
    i respect you very much because you are very strong.

  4. You found the way..that makes you a wonderful mother.

  5. I agree with Alpha..this post breathes with love.

  6. this story looks like My Body Is A Cage of Arcade Fire."But my mind holds the key"- amazing.Luv

  7. I really enjoyed this is sad at first...but it triumphs at the end. You had a breakthru and there are certain breakthru's that really go far in making a parent feel as if they've reached thru to their child who often dwells in their own little world.

    For us, it was when our non-verbal daughter found her words. She is 10 now and I get looks of disbelief when I tell people she was pretty much non-verbal at the age of 2.5 years. This is because now...she can express herself verbally...and quite well for 10 years old. Her first words came at 3 years and she's picked up steam ever since!

    So this triumph you touched my heart because I know how precious it really is...thanks for sharing!

  8. This is very similar to how Cirwen started to speak. The pre-school and reception class teachers (us at home too) worked really hard towards her speech development. Now she is very eloquent, and a real chatterbox! We are not alone in this journey.

  9. How utterly beautiful, that's real love, your little one found her own way to tell you she loved you and understood it. Its easy to say 'I love you' just copy those 3 little words but to find your own after understanding those weird feelings awww you must have wanted to burst, little sweety pie xxx