Journey into Battle
Christine found it difficult to understand why her son, Matthew, had behaviour problems.
"Eleven years ago, Matthew was born in a military hospital and delivered by Captain Cook. Looking back, this was the symbol of the beginning of our journey into battle. Whilst in hospital, Matthew was introduced to Teddy who became his lifelong companion.
Life together with the three of us didn't seem too bad, but when it began to involve the outside world, it became a huge puzzle.
As Matt grew up I felt he was being judged, even by my family and friends.
When he was younger I was working with families in the community but felt I had to give that up, because my own son had so many difficulties. But sometimes he says lovely things to me. One day he told me that he wanted to take me to heaven where we could both be happy.
Matt didn't settle into school very easily and was frightened of lots of things. The teachers said he couldn't relate to others in the ways he was expected to. He told me he sometimes gets the feeling he wants to run away.
He once said, 'Mum you stink', when he smelt my perfume and he'll only eat limited food on certain plates.
Even in Church he's had difficulties behaving like other children of his age. He'd wander about and blow out the candles. Other parents even complained about him at Sunday School.
Eventually I saw a Paediatrician and she told me it wasn't my fault. "Have you heard of Asperger's Syndrome?" she said. I burst into tears and could have hugged her. Only now we are beginning to piece together Matthew's special needs.
We're confronting the challenges as we encounter them, one by one, and enjoying the adventures along the way."