After a short summer break, our first guest is Tanja Krejić - a mum of a 14-year-old boy with autism. Sharing her story helps many people and her family's story is an inspiration for everyone.
Looking forward to the beginning of school
For the last two years, Tanja's son Marko has been waiting for the school year to start with excitement. Together, they make a timetable so that her son has a good overview of when he has what commitments. But he is also always looking forward to seeing his friends - Tanja feels that Marko has his own parallel world at school, which she doesn't have full access to, and which he loves very much.
Early treatment of autism is essential
It was not easy to find out that her son had autism. At around one year old, Tanja was disturbed by the fact that he was not pointing his finger. Later, his cousin, who is 2 months younger than him, was already talking when he was not. She did not notice any other deviations - he was a healthy, happy, smiling baby. Symptoms like his can pass a person by very quickly, but early treatment is essential. She contacted his paediatrician, who at first insisted that nothing was wrong. It took about half a year before she got a referral to an autism clinic, and at the age of 3, Marko was diagnosed.
After diagnosis, everything changed
After her son's diagnosis, Tanja left her job and stayed at home. Since then, everything has changed. She has focused her love completely on him and his development. She always says that he is her biggest personal growth, even though it takes a lot of adjustment. The way the child feels is the way he functions, and it is the parents' responsibility to clear up some things with themselves first and to give the child the opportunity to offer the world what he has to offer, exactly as he is.
Taking time for yourself is crucial
Tanja reads a lot, goes to the mountains, gets together with friends, spends time with her nephew... She has a lot of time to herself, especially when Marko is at school, for example. She would also like to have more time alone with her husband, but this is much more difficult in a relationship with a child with special needs.
Doing all sorts of things with the family
They go almost every weekend when it's not raining to the mountains, they go cycling a lot, they do everything that normal families do. She says that through stories like theirs, she has learned to appreciate every moment in life. For Mark, home is a safe haven while outside he is in a very vulnerable environment. With a lot of perseverance, effort and love, she and her husband have made it so that they go out and do everything they can.
She would advise to parents and to parents-to-be...
...what she has learnt most from her motherhood: ''Let go of all the expectations you have. When you let go of all expectations, miracles start to happen every day.''
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