Well I started off the week with a review meeting at college for Mr T's Education Health Care Plan (EHCP). Do you ever get to the night before and completely forget to have filled in a form? How many times have I said to my kids not to leave homework till the last minute and there I was not taking my own advice and frantically plucking my views out, here there and everywhere.
Any form filling tends to blow one's mind slightly, but they have to be done. I was thinking of saying that my homework was eaten by the dog but we don't have a dog and that's just not right at all. Anyway paperwork was finally in order and we had a good chat including Mr T and together we discussed the support he would need to progress. We also talked about his future plans for moving to a different venture in September. I think we all felt that there are a few options that we, as a family could explore and support Mr T with what he wants to do in the future.
I finished the week with two lovely support groups. We had a change of venue with one group but it was well supported by the school and there we had a few good discussions. Today's meeting was another well attended meeting with quite a few good topics to chat about. The EHCP came up quite a bit this week, it must be review time for a lot of families and we also had people who were new to this information too so together we helped each other and it just felt like a great positive morning.
If you need any information about the EHCP then you can find more information here at www.ambitiousaboutautism.org.uk/understanding-autism/education/statements-and-education-health-and-care-plans
So I feel a lot better now than I did at the start of the week mainly because I have talked to different people and not only got the support I felt we needed but also have been able to chat to others and help them too. You see as a parent I can feel stressed because I am so desperate to get the best support for my son, he can't make a lot of these decisions by himself so we have to help him to make them and I feel so lucky that I have lovely people around to help.
If your head feels a bit like scrambled egg then don't worry, it's all quite normal to feel a bit anxious as it shows you care but please chat to someone and to help iron out those lumps and bumps. Eggs are fabulous scrambled but sometimes we just need life running like a nice smooth omelette.
I have never referred to support using eggs so that's a new one on me, hope that made sense, if not then it's just my brain thats 'fried' (ha ha see what I did there?) I'll go now because the egg jokes are getting silly now.
Thank you for being here and reading today.......please do come back tomorrow for Pass the Remote Saturday but for now......
Yes!! We held our first support group of the year as part of the Derby Branch of the National Autistic Society this week. We were back at The Farmhouse Mackworth in Derby who do a wonderful job of providing a venue for us to meet and the atmosphere was so nice.
It's good to back and even better to be here for people to be able to receive support. We started the evening with just one person and then after a few minutes we had so many, our little circle kept getting wider. It's always a bit difficult to know how these little 'get togethers' will work out. Will everyone want to discuss topics as a group or in individual groups? We left it to people having their own small discussions which seem to work out fine.
I think each small group had a representative from the branch with them and I hope they were able to get the help they needed or just a bit of comfort from us all. There were some battles being fought and newly diagnosed family members even some thinking of supporting family members with an approach to a diagnosis so quite a mix of subjects to cover.
We didn't have a speaker this month so it was just a chatting session and when I stood back and looked for moment at this room of people it was so satisfying to be able to provide this as a branch. It's simple really, just a room, a few brews and people who, although don't realise it as parents but are champions and professionals in their own right, whichever stage of the process they are at.
I think Autism can sometimes bring the best out of a situation, yes there are tough times and it was clear listening to peoples stories here but with the power of speech and the camaraderie between us I think we felt we could conqueror battles or certainly try and put each other on the right road to deal with any problems. I love it!
Remember if you are struggling, seek out your own local support group or if you can't find one maybe think about starting your own. You don't need qualifications just a few people to get together and talk. Who knows, when people find out about your small group more people will join you and away you go - a support group. Big or small they work in the same way, you could even meet in a local teashop or cafe so it doesn't need to be expensive by hiring big venues. The people make the groups not so much the location.
Well a great start and I certainly enjoyed it. Thank you so much for reading today. Please join me again tomorrow for Pass the Remote but for now......
There was an article just recently which a few people seemed to have mentioned to me about a firm in the U.S called Auticon where all the staff are autistic. It was a news item by the BBC and I will include the link for it at the end of this post.
I love seeing these stories where parents have supported their kids in finding the right education place or work environment. If it hasn't been the environment which is right, I love even more that the parents go and make the correct place happen. There was another news story very similar to this a while ago where someone had set up a car wash scheme and employed all autistic staff. You also have people like Anna Kennedy who struggled to find a suitable education for her to sons and then went out to raise money to start a school for children in a similar situation.
It's so inspirational to see and also it gives us parents the hope to have that place where , yes our kids can get an education and fulfil employment but be safe and happy while being there. That's what it's all about really, making sure people are happy and comfortable in their day to day life whether they choose to work in an all autistic workplace or finding inclusion within other places too.
I just like to see everyone happy and settled. You can see that these places work, the environment with Auticon seems very relaxed and everyones needs seem to be met. How cool is that? It is also a chance for autistic children to grow into autistic adults and know they can use their special interest and be successful. We so need to tap into this intellect and passion autistic people have because it makes them not only an asset to any company but for them to be able to fill their dreams.
Anyway if you haven't seem the article take a look at it here:
Let me know what you think, does it make you feel good when you see somewhere like this? If you are autistic yourself would if be a place in which you'd like to work? For me I would just like to work somewhere where I could be me and work in the way I want to to be able to achieve positive results. Isn't that what anyone wants really?
Thank you for reading today. I will be back tomorrow for Pass the Remote but for now......
My post today is one of those thinky doodly type of posts, great description that. To be honest I didn't know what to write and I was trying to come up with some great Autism info for you all but failed miserably. I will find some inspiration but what I felt I needed to do was probably share some things that I have on my mind at the moment if that's ok.
It's nothing serious and I'm not particularly down about anything, well ok I might have the post Christmas blues a bit which sounds a bit weird as I didn't really get into Christmas all that much. I think though that it's the time where there has been a massive shift in routine and we now have to move away from the chocolate, oh sorry I mean the calm of the holidays and get back into the hustle and bustle of regular life again.
For some that is so easy, for me I find it kind of hard shifting from holidays to regular weeks, then just as I'm happy in my regular routine, we have a break and I have to restart again. So I am at that stage but also thinking what the year has install for me as a parent of a gorgeous autistic adult. He is blooming gorgeous and I love him to bits.
I have the EHCP meeting later this month, oh I know we all love that one eh? Mr T's college are really good though so this has so far been an ok experience but now we face a bit of uncertainty. I know I just need to have a good chat with the college about his future, but at the moment we don't have any plans for where he moves onto in September. That's always a big worry isn't it fellow parents? Which school? Which college? It's still just a hard when our children become adults.
I will take time, take in advice and sort it, I always do but it always seems as though we as parents nail one thing and think we can then relax before another thing pops up. This is when it's important to stress that although our youngsters don't have a visible physical disability there is a lot the people don't see or realise what goes on.
It's a bit like a massive blockbuster movie, when you see it on the big screen it looks amazing and just so real but we never think of the work that goes into producing that movie. The behind the scenes technical stuff, hair, make up, scenery, locations, it all has to come together and aim to be successful. That movie is also usually filmed in different orders so sometimes the final scene can be filmed before the opening scenes, that sends my autistic brain a bit into a mish mash I can tell you. I would have to film in the right order as a director, good job I'm not one really. My point is though that this is what our lives are like in the autistic world, there's a lot of planning for something very simple to come together and be a successful such as a deciding on a school place.
Then we have to deal with the sequels.....Autism - The Meltdown, EHCP Part 2,3,4,5,6, PIP - the Renewal and Diagnosis Another Day. It never ends, but we are all here for each other and for saying I didn't know what to write today I think I 've done alright. The thing is now I've shared my thoughts with you I feel so much better. I am now at that 'bring it on' stage. Ready for autistic parent action......just like Bruce Willis in Die Hard, although I won't fire any ammunition but I will stick to my guns.
Thank you so much for reading today, I really appreciate being able to air my thoughts. Please do pop back tomorrow for Pass the Remote Sunday but for now.......
Every Saturday I will be talking about Autism and will review any useful information which may have been highlighted at any support groups in the week.