I suppose it all comes down to whether that person can cope with everyday life and if certain difficulties are having an impact and making it harder to cope within an education, employment setting.
It is important to know whether it is Autism that is affecting oneself. If you have a child, partner or you are an adult yourself you will have had some sort of hint or trigger to set you on the road of seeking a diagnosis. It is a tough one especially if as an adult later in life you have a sense of 'well I've got this far' without a diagnosis, is it worth it?
Well I think yes if it would answer some questions about the past, confirmation of certain behaviour and provide help for the future. There is always that nagging feeling that maybe you would feel better for finding out, to make sense of everything. The picture above shows the missing jigsaw piece which I think just shows that something feels out of place and maybe some sort of diagnosis be that of Autism or another condition, would make everything fall into place.
My son was four years old when he received his diagnosis. There were certain issues to do with his lack of speech, lack of eye contact, lack of social skills and lining his toys up amongst many others which are all classic traits but they were all points picked up very early by our health visitor at the time. This sent us on the road to his diagnosis of Autism. It's just a feeling you get with your child and you know as a parent, when it is right to investigate certain concerns, trust your instincts and always get some advice.
It does feel like a pendulum of emotions sometimes swinging from 'should I seek a diagnosis?' to 'no it will be fine' and these feelings sometimes go on to nag you for ages but if they do talk to people around you first to get advice. Maybe talk to people who have already gone through the diagnosis process and see how they felt. Don't get too put off by the system, yes there is a lot of work to be done regarding the diagnosis pathway, for example, the time it takes to receive a result but still persevere. There are people working to improve this especially in Derbyshire and Derby City.
There may be that decision whether to go down the route of the NHS or going to a Private Specialist. It may be quicker privately but you would have the added expense so there is that to think about. In some cases it can be where you are in the country, some areas have better services than others making it a bit of a postcode lottery but like I say, stick with it and push for it if you feel it's the right decision.
For some they may cope well without any diagnosis at all. You can just come to the conclusion yourself that your behaviour may fall on the spectrum and have your own coping mechanisms and that's fine. Always talk to someone though if you need to, it's good to talk.
I hope that helps a little. We have all been through these feelings at some stage and if you have received a diagnosis for yourself, a partner or your child how did you feel afterwards? In our experience we still felt a bit shocked although we only had what we had suspected confirmed for us but it still left us thinking 'well what do we do now?' Please use the National Autistic Society website for support, there is so much information on there and you can seek local support groups on there too. Go to www.autism.org.uk
Thank you for reading today, please join me again tomorrow for Pass the Remote Sunday but for now.........
Yes Morrisons are another chain of stores who have launched a 'Quiet Hour' on Saturday mornings between 9am and 10am.
The ‘Quieter Hour’ will see store lighting dimmed, background music switched off, and loudspeaker announcements avoided if possible and other noises, such as the beeps at checkout counters, turned down.
This is great news for all people with Autism and those especially with issues associated with Sensory Processing. Shopping can be an ordeal for everyone especially if you are in a rush or maybe a parent with a small baby. It's a race to get round before a nappy change or the next feed, ah yes I remember those days. It would be the equivalent to a scene from Supermarket Sweep, grabbing everything in sight, thinking to yourself 'that will do'.
For someone with Autism though it can be very difficult as the world is seen in a very different way to those without Autism. Noise from background music, announcements, tills and other people can just be so overpowering and too much for an Autistic brain to process all at once. This can put a lot of people off from shopping altogether and that is a shame.
So what do we do about it? Well all shops can be encouraged to join in with a their own quiet hour in the hope it may raise awareness. Between the 6th and 13th October this year the National Autistic Society will be encouraging more shops to join in with 'Autism Hour' and make the simple changes which Morrisons have made to their Saturday's.
This is a big help to those with Autism and their families so well done to Morrisons, if you are a retailer and would like more information on how you could take part in 'Autism Hour' then go to the NAS website here at:
If you have visited Morrison's during their 'Quieter Hour' then please let me know about your experience. For now though you all take care and I thank you very much for reading. Join me again tomorrow for Pass the Remote Sunday.
A huge well done done to my eldest son this week as I attended his end of year presentation at college. I was one proud mum sitting there as I watched him go and collect his certificate for his achievements.
In fact I was not only emotional for my son but for all the young people who were there. I loved hearing about the individual stories of how they started with very little confidence and their struggles which then turned into these massive goals and achievements. A lot of the students were leaving this college to go and pursue other courses elsewhere or take on apprenticeships which is just fantastic.
All these young people had additional needs and my goodness it doesn't half feel good not just from their point of view as I saw their faces fill with pride and the biggest smiles receiving their well deserved rounds of applause but from a parents point of view too. I could actually sit back and think, yes it was the right choice for my son to attend here and it has all been worth it. Phew. One of those 'Yes' moments as a parent.
My son will go on to continue for another year in his Pathway to Independent Living where he not only studies Maths, English and IT he also learns vital life skills such as how to manage money, personal hygiene and cooking. He loves cooking and is even having a chance to explore his Art which is has a passion for too. We do reap the benefits of his cooking - nice cookies this week son!!! yummy!
So a big well done to all the students and I hope this sends out a little positive feeling to all those who have their children in education. Big things are possible. These young people were being praised for great building work in construction, fabulous hair design and beauty work in real working salons also their caring and sensitive nature and skills within Health and Social Care. So lovely to see and I'm going to go now before I blub again with immense pride.
Even with the biggest obstacles our young people will find their niche and bloom, a bit like a flower - great things grow from tiny little seedlings.
Thanks for reading today......go on, come back tomorrow for my telly talk on Pass the Remote Sunday......you know you want to. Take care for now.
How are you feeling about the summer holidays which are approaching? Tense? Nervous? Anxious? With Dread? Or are you ok and welcome the rest from school runs and the routine of the academic calendar?
That is one of the big issues with this time of year, the routine of the timetable changes a lot now. There are sports days, induction sessions if moving schools, changes to some subjects and maybe an extra classroom change thrown in there too. I think most schools will try their best to keep this to a minimum but it can have a massive effect on a child with Autism.
I think our kids just feel this more than others and get ready to finish. Some though would prefer to carry on as the timetable keeps them focussed and on track alleviating a lot anxiety. Six weeks is a long time and it can be a massive ordeal trying to organise things to do and activities that will really interest our young ones. As long as they are happy and calm and you are less stressed as a parent then go with the flow. Do what you feel your young one needs. There are going to be changes and days where they won't want to do as you planned and you kind of have to be prepared for that. It can be disappointing but the most important thing is keep stress levels down to a minimum.
Maybe it would be good to make a timetable similar to that at school. Not with Maths and English on but with things you want to do, then there is structure and organisation. You could use pictures, photos or drawings. stickers make it fun as well. A calendar can just be as useful, my son just likes our kitchen calendar and always checks it to see what we have on, I just have to remember to keep t up to date.
You may be planning to go away on holiday which needs good planning too. Prepare your young person as much as possible from what will be involved regarding packing and go through a map of the journey. Make a scrapbook using pictures of where you are going, hotels, the surrounding areas and any trips you plan to take. It sounds a lot of work but you can make it fun and it will be worth it if it makes the whole experience easier.
Our Derby and District Branch of the NAS (National Autistic Society) have a meeting coming up on the 17th July where we will be holding a discussion on this subject and welcome anyone to come along who needs a few ideas and strategies on how to cope over the summer period.
We hold our meetings at The Farmhouse, 60 Ashbourne Rd, Mackworth, Derby DE22 4LY from 7pm-9pm in the Library Room. it's a lovely place to meet. We have tea and coffee on offer but there are also drinks available from the bar so please come along if you are in the local area.
Let me know how you cope and what works for you at this time of year as everyone deals with summer very differently so any ideas would be great to pass on.
Thank you for reading today, please come back tomorrow for Pass the Remote Sunday, keep cool and take care.
Every Saturday will be about Autism, family and life.