This week we had our last two support groups of this year at the National Autistic Society Derby & District Branch. I can't actually believe we are coming to the end of another year. It was lovely to see people and have some full on discussions.
We make November our last dates as our groups are held in a couple of schools so December gets so busy for them. There are lots of events that take place that naturally parents want to attend so we always give December a rest. We will all be back in January ready for a cuppa and some chat about the Christmas holiday. It is stressful for some as routines get messed around a bit and there is quite a bit going on over the holidays at this time of year.
I do feel that the support groups are a great place to get advice, share ideas or to just generally get things off ones chest. We all have times when things either get to us a bit or we don't know what to do in a certain situation, it can be stressful and upsetting so sitting and chatting can have a massive effect, believe me.
Please don't ever struggle and think you can't talk in front of anyone about your problems, we can sort out a moment to speak to anyone individually at our groups, in private so please don't be put off. You wouldn't believe the amount of friendships that have been created through attending groups. People sometimes tend to meet up, realise they have children at the same school or have a lot in common and then go and meet regularly at other times or do activities together. You need never feel alone.
If you are struggling to find a local group then go to the NAS website and search the Autism Services Directory, you can use this link:
Here you will be able to search for services you require in any part of the country. So give it a try. It is worth it. I come away from our groups learning more and feeling quite strong, as though I can cope and I run the groups so I'm always learning from others too. The thing is I can then go and pass useful information onto other people in other groups and that's how it works.
We will be back in January as I say and if you would like more information about the Derby Branch of the NAS then go to our Facebook page here: www.facebook.com/NASDerbyBranch/
I would just like to thank everyone at our groups for coming along and take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas - see you in 2019 for more chat and of course, a brew or two.
Thank you for reading today. Join me again tomorrow for Pass the Remote but for now take care.
I"m a big fan of Anne Hegerty. I do love her as The Governess in ITV's The Chase where she is the quiz master maestro. She has my upmost respect at the moment though in I'm A Celebrity Get me Out Of Here.
If you have been following the programme so far or you know a little about Anne, she is autistic and is becoming a great advocate for autism. It's so good to see her talking openly about her autism and generally raising awareness. She mentions how she received her diagnosis later on in life and how autism effects her. We are all getting an insight into her personality and life which is great to see.
This can only be a good thing surely, to open up what life is like as autistic person and it's so good to see her receiving, not only support from the camp but from the public watching the show too. I know she has struggled a bit with some of the trials so far but she's done so well to even attempt them, that's a huge deal for her. I hope people carry on supporting Anne, she is ruled out of a few trials because of medical reasons but I hope this doesn't go against her. I feel the presenters are already highlighting this quite a bit which I'm feeling a bit worried about.
It looks as though Anne is ruled out of any trials to do with water or heights so they are probably her worst fears which I totally understand. Blimey I couldn't do any of these challenges or spend a night out in the jungle so fair play to her and all of the celebs taking part. I would be ruled out of everything, even more than Anne, in fact I'd be screaming 'get me out here' all the time. I'm not a celebrity so it probably wouldn't happen. ITV have never done a 'Joe public' series have they? Not sure it would work as well but lets not give them any ideas eh?
I honestly don't think anyone would go in, it's probably the huge pay cheques that are a bit of a incentive for these celebrities. I am enjoying this series though, a good mix of people and they are still being really nice to each other. I hope Anne stays in as long as possible and gets to share more of her experiences as being an autistic adult. I'm loving that's she's keeping everyone entertained with her mountain of facts, she is amazing with the amount of stuff she knows. I am totally in awe of her.
Keep going Anne!! Good luck and although I want her to stay in the jungle I feel she can't wait to get back to her organised chaos at home, in her own space.
The National Autistic Society have a great feature about Anne Hegerty on their website which includes an interview with her and more information about autism if you should want to know more.
Thank you for reading today, join me again tomorrow for Pass the Remote but for now........
I received my Christmas cards today from the National Autistic Society so I'm all ready now....and I think I've chosen some nice cute designs for my family and friends this year. The snowman ones are actually for Mum from the Brew so she's sorted too.
I always have a word with myself and wonder whether I am going to do that 'oh I'm not sending cards the year but giving a donation to charity' thing that people do but sorry that's rubbish. It's nice to give and to receive a card around Christmas, it allows people to know you are thinking of them and in this digital age when all people do is text and email it's just nice to still receive something written.
This way you can do both so there's no excuse, you can send a card and give to charity. It doesn't have to be this charity although I would love you to order the NAS cards, you can choose your favourite charity and give something as well as putting a smile on the face of someone you know.
You can order a great selection of cards from the National Autistic Society website here www.autism.org.uk/shop/nas-merchandise/christmas-cards.aspx
There really are some fantastic designs even 'Frosty' designed by Toby, aged 8, winner of the annual Christmas card design competition in the children's category and 'Santa's Reindeer' designed by Jemma, winner in the adult’s category.
They arrive quite quick too as I only ordered these on Tuesday and they arrived today but get your order in as I'm sure the closer to Christmas we get, the busier they may get at the NAS, and lets be honest it's not long now.....
So get ordering!!
Thank you so much for reading today, I will be back tomorrow for Pass the Remote so join me then but for now.........
We had another really good meeting this week at the Derby branch of the National Autistic Society. Rob, one of our branch members provided a talk on employment. It was so refreshing to hear from someone who is autistic themselves speak about his experiences.
I could of honestly listened to him for hours and hours and I think a lot of people in the room felt the same. Rob highlighted issues such as the work environment and making minor adjustments to help someone who may experience sensory overload. This could be a change in lightbulbs or making use of natural light from a window and allowing the use of headphones or earplugs to cut out some of the loud noises associated with a busy workplace.
Rob also mentioned the importance of routines, travelling within certain employment and the task of having to be sociable. I loved hearing about how he tackled a balance of social interaction, enough to want to be asked to say, go to the pub but also being allowed the choice and not being pressured to take part in after work activities if he didn't want to.
The evening certainly raised a lot of points that I suppose some people don't think of. There are so many slight adjustments that can be made for someone who is autistic and wow if I was an employer I'd say use the many qualities of autism as an advantage. Autistic people tend to think outside the box, have great knowledge especially with certain special interests and can achieve great things so it is important we help employers understand this and allow progression in the workplace.
It depends on the environment and type of work, people all have different abilities whether they are autistic or not. Rob didn't completely sugar coat everything of course there are advantages and disadvantages, good experiences and bad and it was good to share it all with us. I think at the end of the evening most people went away with a sense of positivity, in fact I don't think I've never seen so many smiley faces and people leaving with a spring in their step as though everything could be ok.
There was a mix of people who came along to see Rob speak, some were parents, some were autistic themselves and we did have a couple of employers in the room too so I think everyone got advice for their particular interest which was so reassuring. I can relate to how some of these people felt being a parent of an autistic adult myself and someone who suspects they are on the spectrum themselves. There is a lot to hope for within employment and progress is being made for anyone who may need help to access work. I still think we still need to help employers and other employees understand more about autism but it's happening.
Maybe we can do more to offer companies more awareness schemes that make working environments more autism friendly. I know it would really help and it would take away a lot of anxiety for autistic people who really do want to work. It is really just an understanding from employers, a willing to adapt and make certain provisions for a positive future. It isn't about changing that autistic person it is about allowing that person to be autistic and be able to work too.
I would like to thank Rob for coming along to the branch as it was such a positive experience and I think I can speak for all that came along too. If you would like to know more about Rob he has a website at
www.an-autistics-view.co.uk and he is also on Twitter: Rob@RobRubix so look him up as he writes some great blogs.
Thank you for reading today, please pop back tomorrow for Pass the Remote but for now......
So this happened this week, yes there were lots of lovely people meeting to give talks and share information regarding Women, Girls and Autism. So many interesting speakers I was a bit overwhelmed and wished I really could have been there. I find it difficult to go to events like this especially midweek as I have commitments at home but I would definitely try and make it if I can sort something in the future.
The great thing about social media is that I felt I could join in which was brilliant. By using the hashtag #AutismWomen on Twitter I could follow a lot of what was going on. Obviously I couldn't home in on all the details but it was so good to be able to hear comments and statements taken from some of the speakers and those who attended.
The conference was held to get insights into diagnosis from those who are autistic themselves and also teaching methods for those in education along with the support available too. I felt really empowered by all these people and even by being there on Twitter I felt it was a place that did feel very familiar and I appreciated being a part of it even in this small way.
It was so interesting and even the preparations and organisation to the venue itself with seating was nice to see. Everything seemed well thought out and I presume if there was feedback or ways to improve anything the people at The National Autistic Society will sort it for the future. Well done to everyone involved and thank you to those people who did tweet as it really helped to grab some information.
I guess they would have great brewing facilities as well so there is no excuse why I should not get myself to one of these conferences soon. For now though please keep the info coming through on social media. I am tuning into various blogs and vlogs to learn more about the event, what a great network we have to help each. I'm feeling the love here.
So if you do find it difficult to access any event look at whether the event organisers are putting info out there as you can tune in in some way. Take a look at #AutismWomen if you are on Twitter and have a catch up. Let me know what you thought if you did attend the event I'd love to know your views.
For now though you take care and I will be back tomorrow for Pass the Remote Sunday....
Bye for now.
Every Saturday will be about Autism, family and life.