MY FAM­ILY

KELLY CAMP­BELL IS RAIS­ING HER AUTIS­TIC DAUGH­TER IN A SMALL MIN­ING COM­MU­NITY IN SCOT­LAND

Diva (UK) - - Contents - AS TOLD TO CAR­RIE LYELL

DIVA read­ers in­tro­duce their ev­ery­day fam­i­lies

As mum and mummy to our daugh­ter, Reeva, we are con­stantly con­fronted by other peo­ple’s as­sump­tions. One of the big­gest is that one or both of us are het­ero­sex­ual, or that I be­came preg­nant af­ter be­ing with a man, rather than as part of a les­bian cou­ple.

We also face as­sump­tions from med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als who ask “who is mum?” when we are both mum. It can be dif­fi­cult, but we are al­ways open and up­front with peo­ple and rather than get­ting an­gry, try to help them un­der­stand our fam­ily unit.

We live in a small min­ing com­mu­nity in Scot­land, and the re­ac­tions we get from oth­ers are gen­er­ally posi- tive. Some are con­fused or in­trigued, but gen­er­ally speak­ing, peo­ple in the vil­lage are very ac­cept­ing of us and treat us the same way they would treat any other cou­ple. We have had a tougher time with my part­ner Ali’s fam­ily, as some mem­bers are not truly ac­cept­ing due to re­li­gious and per­sonal be­liefs.

One of the big­gest chal­lenges for us as a fam­ily was when Reeva was di­ag­nosed with an Autism Spec­trum Con­di­tion. She didn’t start talk­ing un­til she was three years old, us­ing signs and sym­bols rather than ver­bal com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

Ev­ery day is dif­fer­ent and brings its own set of chal­lenges. It’s been a learn­ing curve, and we are com­mit­ted to un­der­stand­ing more about the con­di­tion in or­der to sup­port Reeva as much as we can.

An­other chal­lenge has been try­ing to grow our fam­ily. Ali has had six at­tempts at as­sisted con­cep­tion and one at­tempt at IVF, but un­for­tu­nately none of these have been suc­cess­ful and so we’ve de­cided to look into fos­ter­ing or adop­tion so that Reeva can have a brother or a sis­ter. We’d re­ally like her to have sib­lings.

De­spite the hur­dles we’ve faced, there is noth­ing we would change about our lov­ing, fun, sup­port­ive and car­ing fam­ily. We’re there for each other, no mat­ter what.

“We are look­ing into fos­ter­ing or adop­tion – we’d re­ally like Reeva to have a sib­ling”

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