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This is what happens when an autistic 10 year old wishes for world peace, and a Covid vaccination.

Karen’s 10 year old son had a Christmas wish, he wanted his Covid vaccination. This is her and her son’s story…..

Like so many parents of children aged under 12, in the later part of 2021 I relentlessly followed the news regarding when our 5-11-year-old kids would finally be able to receive their first Covid-19 vaccination.

This is what happens when an autistic 10 year old wishes for world peace, and a Covid vaccination.
Karen’s son got his #1 CovidJab for Christmas. Image supplied by family.

The hidden impact of Covid on our kids

Watching and trying to support my 10-year-old Autistic son while he scrubbed his hands like a surgeon 40+ times a day during lockdown 6.?? was beyond heartbreaking. THEN watching my unvaccinated child eagerly want to return to school (he couldn’t wait to reconnect with his friends) for term 4 2021. Knowing that the insidious Covid-19 would be lurking around every corner, felt like I was sending him in to battle. And the hand washing continued.

Although we kept him away from the news, my husband and I shared enough. We wanted him to understand why we made certain family decisions. Why we did some things various ways like, keeping therapy appointments and extracurricular activities online for as long as possible. Activities like only having playdates at parks etc.


All I want for Christmas……

Christmas was fast approaching and while I was trying hard to be in denial, reading my son’s Christmas Wish List simultaneously snapped me out of it and broke my heart.

Item number 5 (because all lists should be numbered) was ‘#1CovidJab’. Item number 21 was ‘Covid to Die’ and 22 was ‘World Peace’ (wait until he is old enough to watch Miss Congeniality!). Of course, there were numerous video games and toys listed as well.

When I spoke with him about item number 5, he shared with me for the first time the deep level of fear that he had about any of his family contracting Covid-19 and dying. He also shared that he wanted to feel protected like his Mum and Dad. To feel like he could protect his friends when he was vaccinated. Because ‘Covid won’t like me as much anymore and stay away’.

Booking THAT appointment

Despite making numerous enquiries to NDIS (yes, I am very proudly ‘THAT Parent’) about earlier access to the vaccine for 5 to 11-year-old NDIS participants, I had to suck up the fact that because of the necessary requirement to re-batch vaccine doses (only one third of the adult dose required for this cohort) this unfortunately wasn’t going to happen. Tenacity did pay off in that, when I was having my booster (disappointingly still no 5G) I was able to book him in with the local GP who actually confirmed him existence and is an amazing ‘Neurodiverse Person Connector’.

Although Mummy couldn’t get him his ‘#1CovidJab’ for Christmas I could at least give him a booking verification. He was super-excited with this. He became quite the vaccine advocate and gave his younger cousins and friends copies of Pepper Pig gets a Vaccination.

I also contacted the Victorian Department of Health’s Coronavirus Hotline 1800 675 398. To see if there were priority appointments for NDIS participants. Unless my child required extra support  and specialist requirements to access COVID-19 vaccinations (though contact with a specialist Disability Liaison Officers) there was no additional assistance. Despite his extreme anxiety around contracting covid and this impacting his day to day behaviour, he is able to attend a GPs clinic to receive his vaccine. I am sure that I don’t need to tell you the blood, sweat, millions of tears (mostly mine) and numerous bribes it had taken over his 10 years to reach this point.



Helpful resources for Kids Covid vaccinations.

After conceding that I had tried every available avenue to expedite my son’s vaccine we switched focus to preparing for his appointment. We have accessed some of the resources below and have found them incredibly useful:


THAT Appointment!

All day my son was distracted and visibly nervous. Worried that it might really hurt, worried that the doctors may have run out of vaccine. Reassuring himself that he needed to have the jab in his left arm because his right hand is a vital implement in consuming ice-cream. His appointment was one minute early, he already had his left t-shirt sleeve rolled up. Before the doctor had finished telling him that this would be the most painless vaccination he would ever have, it was over! The longest part of the entire experience was him choosing a post-vax treat! The practice nurse has already booked him in for his 8-week follow up appointment!!!

During the mandatory 15-minute post vaccination wait we read through the Covid-19 vaccination information leaflet. We discussed possible symptoms and side effects. Why vaccines are import in establishing immunity, Pokémon and felt extremely proud and relieved and had lots of cuddles.

Oh, and because he is a March baby I already have his ‘#2CovidJab’ sorted. For his Birthday Wish List. #AccidentalParentWin – but I’ll take it!

Story by Karen Gordon Clark.

Thankyou Karen for sharing your amazing son’s experience and helping so many others. Thankyou to Karen’s son (we asked and this is what he approved) you are an amazing role model. I will be keeping an eye out for your progress with World Peace!


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