'amazing child'  | 

Erin McGregor says her son with autism is also non-verbal in heartbreaking interview 

"He isn't able to articulate how he feels or what he thinks so I didn't know.”

Erin McGregor with son Harry

Clodagh Meaney

Erin McGregor has said that her son Harry who has autism is also non-verbal.

The 5-year-old was diagnosed with sensory issues three years ago.

Erin appeared on Ireland AM where she opened up about her “amazing child.”

"Harry is the most amazing child. I absolutely adore him.”

"The last time I came on, Muireann asked me a question that is just so normal - How does Harry feel about you being on Panto?”

"It was that moment where another parent with a child with special needs feels they're reminded that your child can't express how they feel,” she said.

"So when Muireann asked me that question I couldn't go, 'Oh he's so excited', because that's not the truth.”

"Harry is non-verbal, although he communicates with me in other ways that aren't verbal. He isn't able to articulate how he feels or what he thinks so I didn't know.”

“It was that moment where I was sitting on television and it was that sting, and I know so many other parents at home understand that feeling."

The mother of two said that her youngest son’s diagnosis was a rollercoaster of emotions at the beginning.

Erin McGregor

"It was so difficult. At the beginning, people asked me how I feel and it was just such a rollercoaster of emotions.”

"It was that deep pain in the pit of my stomach where I just wanted my son to be happy and healthy and live some sort of functioning life.

"That's all any mother ever wants for their child is to feel that they're safe and protected and loved."

She also said that she went through a dark time wondering if he knew she loved him.

"It was obviously such a rollercoaster of emotions. There were very dark times when I used to lie in bed and look at him and think, 'Does he know I love him?', 'Does he love me?'

"I had very little awareness of it.”

"Even as a parent with a child on the spectrum, I don't know everything, I'm still learning. It's changing.”

"You're catapulted into this world of different terms like home tuition, occupational therapist, speech therapists, special schools.”

"It's just all these words and emotions being thrown at you and it's very overwhelming.”

"So it's really good that the world is starting to become aware of children with sensory difficulties or meltdowns."

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