Autism is heartbreaking. Our kids can't tell you about the bad things that happen to them, or even the good things.
I long for the day that my little boy Gus walks through the door and says: 'You won't believe what happened to me today!' It's a sentence I took for granted with my two older kids, but no more.
Before Gus was diagnosed, I knew nothing about autism, how widespread it is, how many children are affected – one in 68 at last count. I didn’t know how heartbreaking it is not to be able to communicate with your child.
I didn't know what it felt like to have your child lash out at you, turn violent towards you.
How depressing and isolating it can be for parents, how many marriages break up from the strain of autism.
How financially draining treatment is, how families are cashing in superannuation and selling homes to pay for therapy.
How little the government is doing for children with autism. But I know it all now.
Gus had just turned two when we were told he is autistic.
Thanks to a lot of amazing therapy, he's a different child from when he was first diagnosed.
While we're all much better people for having Gus in our lives, it's damn tough, and getting through a day without crying or feeling helpless is rare.