As part of #CelebratingFamiliesWeek, we are sharing Debs’ story. Deb Aspland is a mother to three children, Cain, Rosie and Jamie, who have special education needs, a trainer and co-founder of the 'Bloody Awesome Parents Awards', as well as a consultant for MacIntyre's work on 'Family Engagement'.
Opening up about her experiences as a mother, Debs shares how her son Cain was diagnosed with hydrocephalus from an early age, a condition where there is a build-up of fluid in the brain.
"All the laughter suddenly stopped and I knew it was going to be bad news. They told us my son would need emergency brain surgery and he would have to have a valve put in his brain."
Debs also provides an insight into how following the birth of her twins Jamie and Rosie, Cain began to show signs of autism. A diagnosis of autism for Jamie and Rosie soon followed.
"Around the same time, we noticed that Cain was struggling a lot with the twins, he was struggling with routine and he was struggling with anything that changed. He couldn't cope with surprises and we had lost some language. They gave us a diagnosis of autism."
Whilst Cain, Jamie and Rosie each have a diagnosis of autism, Debs' explains they couldn't be more different.
"One thing that has become obvious to us is having children with the same 'label' doesn't give you children that are exactly the same. They are chalk and cheese. I wouldn't change my kids' diagnoses. It makes them who they are, but I would change the system and I would change society if I could."
You can view Debs' full story below.