LIFE for Walter and Monika Robinson is more than a matter of daily accomplishments, it is a celebration of each moment they get to share with their autistic son Alick.
Alick Robinson is an 11-year-old boy who was born with autism — a lifelong developmental condition that usually affects children.
It is characterised by a lack of response to people as well as a limited ability to communicate well.
Mrs Robinson was invited to speak about her experiences and the challenges she faced daily in dealing with her son at the World Autism Day celebration in Suva yesterday.
"Our son Alick is 11, he has autism, autism is a developed mental disorder that appears in the first three years of life and affects the brain's normal development of social and communication skills," Mrs Robinson explained.
"The first two years of Alick's life, we noticed that his smiles, speech and motor skills developed slower than that of a usual two-year-old.
"We then enrolled him at the Early Intervention Centre where he learnt skills that other children do naturally and as a parent I saw his development taking place, although slow these developments maybe, he was learning."
Mrs Robinson said although Alick enjoyed travelling to the Suva Bus Station, the market or MHCC, he would unfortunately experience a sensory overload which occurred when one or more of the body senses experienced over stimulation from the environment.
"It makes it difficult for him to travel to busy and loud places and when he experiences this, he would try and block both of his ears with his hands as the sound is too overwhelming for him.
"He particularly dislikes the sound of thunder, as parents we take in and learn all of these little triggers that upset him so we choose to go to places that are not busy, a particular supermarket on Princes Rd, car rides instead of bus rides, putting earphones on and listen to music when there is thunder."