Monday, 7 November 2016

Fighting For Autism- Scott Tunstall, Father to a Superstar on the Spectrum, Freestyle Wrestler and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Scott Tunstall, is a father to young superstar on the Spectrum , he is also an Irish Freestyle Wrestling Champion and active in  Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as well as becoming the Regional Director for Fighting For Autism in Northern Ireland.
The Martial Arts and Boxing communities have been absolutely amazing towards Fighting For Autism, with the amount of clubs, coaches, active fighters and so many more really taking to raising Autism Awareness with us to their hearts, and the wonderful thing, is that through these same communities we are seeing a wave of extremely gifted athletes who are on the spectrum themselves and some truly remarkable people who are assisting in bringing out the very best in them.



 




This is Scott's blog on his experience as a parent of a superstar on the Autistic Spectrum.



What I have learned from Autism?
As we navigate through the sometimes tranquil sometimes turbulent oceans of Autism, a multitude of emotions surface. Sometimes the torrent is too much control and it feels as if your ship is sinking beneath waves of unbridled fear and pain.

These times no matter how testing are necessary and fundamental to understanding our child's condition and by learning to guide your loved one around these treacherous waters and keeping afloat we deepen our understanding of ASD and our child's psychological driver's. I know I speak for both my wife and I, that learning to overcome our child's fears through slow methodical strategies has allowed us to gain a deep understanding of our beautiful boy's mentality, creativity and emotional expression. Not every impending storm front leads to a full blown hurricane and there is always, as with everything in life a silver lining. So I want to write of untold treasures and secret cove's that Autism will pilot you to, sometimes inadvertently when the Tempest is at its peak and all hope is lost.... a ray of light a glimmer of hope shining brightly through angry skies, the eye of the hurricane........a lighthouse guiding you to safety

These precious few moments! Maybe just a smile or a hug with warmth and intent...maybe just maybe those three heart melting words. So I pose a question? What has Autism taught you? What have you found when you have braved the storm and traversed the deluge? Does it bring it you closer together and deepen your already indescribably strong bond? How have these experiences changed and shaped your humanity? These are the questions I would like to ask? For me I have gained a wealth of understanding and a deep connection with my son's feelings, his fears and his likes (which are many!) and importantly how his mind works. This has been invaluable to me and his affection towards us as parents has grown since we have taken the time and patience to really understand him. This has not only affected my life with our son this has affected me at a deep level and changed the way I interact with people in general.




Autism has altered my world view dramatically. I find that I have become more patient and warm towards people and definitely more empathetic (which was always an issue for me before we had Lewis) I also take more time to understand problems and really listen to people. We are very lucky in that although our son is profoundly Autistic, he is also very caring and shows his love on a daily basis with big hugs, excellent humour and loving words. This too has warmed my heart and has allowed me to become friendlier and open with my family and friends. We still face stormy waters with our son as we ALL do as parents/carers of children with ASD but there are oasis's of calm tropical waters out there and they hold treasures beyond measure...Thanks for taking your time to read this today it is greatly appreciated, my aim with this short piece is just to focus our attention on the positives of Autism. So please feel free to share your thoughts......
What have you, learned from Autism?

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