I thought as a new year was approaching that I would share our meeting dates for the Derby Branch of the National Autistic Society. We meet at three places at present in the Derby area with both day and evening times available.
We have a Facebook page which is there to seek more information and to also get in touch if you need to know more. We do update our information regularly and some of our meetings change to accommodate a speaker. So here are our dates for 2019.......
The Farmhouse at Mackworth 60 Ashbourne Rd, Mackworth, Derby DE22 4LY
Tuesday evenings 7pm - 9pm
2nd April - AGM
Ravensdale Junior School 55 Devonshire Dr, Derby DE3 9HB
Friday mornings 9.30am - 10.30am
No April date
The Long Eaton School Thoresby Rd, Long Eaton. NG10 3NP
Thursday mornings 9.45am - 11.00am
No Feb date
No April date
We do provide a nice friendly atmosphere where you can chat with others or come a seek advice in confidence too so please do come along. My son is autistic and was diagnosed at 4 years old, he is now 18 and ever since his diagnosis I have found talking within groups very helpful and still do. My son is now going into adulthood and I feel I will always need to grab advice or just be there to help others in any way I can too.
I hope that helps a little if you are in our area. There are many branches throughout the UK too so go to the main NAS website here and find your local branch.
Thank you for reading today, please join me again tomorrow for Pass the Remote Sunday for now......
I'm not sure I am myself really. I know the schools and colleges have finished now which can cause a little disruption again for autistic young people. My youngest really doesn't settle with the holidays, he would attend college all year round if it was up to him. He prefers the structure and the routine of his college days and feels a bit lost over the holidays.
My eldest has absorbed the Christmas TV guide already and now knows when all the Disney films are on. He will tell me every day what is on which is really handy (if it's Disney you want to watch). We have to walk every day as well in the holidays which I love because I need the exercise after eating too many chocolates. I suggested a walk tomorrow and looked at the weather forecast only to see rain. I put this to Mr T and he said ' well we have our coats Babs'. That's my nickname for those who may have missed it before.
I quite like the rest from the normal routine a little bit, I do still find it a bit unsettling and think I need to be really lazy when in fact I find that really hard to do. I also get enthused at first about having a lie in in the mornings only to wake at the same time as I usually would and then have to get up and do stuff. I have realised that I am really rubbish at sitting still. I know!! I thought I was good at it but it seems not. My mind races and I have to do the things that are going around in my brain, it's like I can't switch off. Maybe I do need my routine more than I thought.
Christmas has changed a lot really as my boys are now older and the magic has disappeared slightly. It feels a bit weird and as though I'm not really caring too much for it all this year but I think it's just a shift in the way life is at the moment and how it changes. It takes time for us to process change and I think that's my problem this year. For so many years it has been a time toys and tons of presents, but now it's money and vouchers and not too much excitement about whether Santa will be here.
I don't care, I'm still putting out my treats for Santa on Christmas Eve because that's what we've always done. I do hope your Christmas goes ok and without to much stress. Some families do have a tough time so please take it steady. The National Autistic have a list of tips to prepare for Christmas here:
I found some of those tips quite good. They did make me realise, especially the ones for autistic adults on how we need to prepare for budgeting and shopping. It is the prime time when our bank accounts tend to get the most abuse and also for me personally I cannot go shopping when it's really busy at Christmas. I find I do a lot of shopping online now and find it so much easier. People from Amazon just drop things off at the door, and usually next day......now thats great for me!!
I am going to take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and I will be back tomorrow for a bit of telly talk with Pass the Remote Sunday but for now you all take care.
Following on from last week I thought I would just conclude the pasta saga. Well I got another message to say that Mr T would be tackling the pasta again this week. I said 'what?' but lovely cooking teacher you promised us chocolate cake this week. I was pleading for the cake as I wasn't loving the prospect of putting it to Mr T that it was pasta again especially after the last meltdown and refusal to cook.
The refusal to cook last time though meant he had to. try and finish off the pasta so we could tick it off and be done. I ventured into the unknown (Mr T's bedroom) and had a team talk, the way us parents do with our autistic kids. Nice and calm, ease into the conversation gently then any sign of meltdown withdraw immediately and not bother, then retract to living room with a brew to calm the nerves.....sound familiar?
Well team talk went well and he said he would try his best with the pasta as cool as anything so I retreated in shock, thinking this was going far too well. I went with it and sent the ingredients in with him and as sure as anything he came out of college with a nice tub of pasta salad. Yes my fellow Autistic brewsters, we have completed operation pasta and now we could move onto to chocolate cake. Yes!! (punches air), never been so pleased to see a finished pasta salad and a happy boy.
This week he got to bake a chocolate cake and he baked with gluten free flour so I could eat it (that was my idea). Mr T made the most gorgeous gluten free chocolate cake I have ever seen and tasted. I have been trying for ages to bake a decent sponge and he just comes home with this masterpiece. I couldn't stop raving about it and he started to look a bit smug. So he should, so proud of him for tackling everything again and allowing me to eat chocolate cake.
So it just goes to show that if something in our autistic minds is not going well and causing anxiety it may be that we need to shelve whatever it is and leave it for a while then come back to it. This may not always be possible for some people. I know I find things difficult to do one minute but then have to rethink a different way or just give it time and try again. We have to find that different way of processing things to ease the anxiety, allowing that precious time, how ever long it takes to allow us to cope.
A happy Mr T after all and I do have to say I did go to parents evening at his college and he is doing so well. I'm so proud of him, we celebrated by eating a little cake, just a little bit (honest).
Thank you for reading, I just thought after the anxiety we faced last week I needed to tell you that it all came right in the end. I will be back tomorrow with Pass the Remote Sunday but for now you all take care.
My son Mr T has been having a love hate thing with cheese pasta for the past few weeks. He is doing some catering at college as part of his course into independent living and getting on well with it all but we hit a road block which ended in a emergency stop this week.
The first week he attempted making cheese sauce he said that he had turned his butter into caramel while attempting a roux sauce. Nothing wrong with caramel with my pasta I thought, could be a new thing here. I love pasta and I love caramel, what you worrying about Mr T? Well he wasn't happy after that lesson, had to clean the pans - tough day that was.
Attempt two seem to go well and he came out of college with a lovely tub of cheese pasta, hurrah I thought. Why in the bad mood though Mr T, you've done it? Well he got in the car with said tub of pasta, a sandwich, crisps and a drink. Now just to explain he has lunch at college on a Monday, Tuesday and Friday and this was a Wednesday. Well they had given him a lunch by mistake at college and it sent him into a flutter. He would not speak to me or Mum and Dad from the Brew who were in the car too as we were all going out for lunch. It wasn't until we hid it all away that he could carry on with his day.
'Those silly people have given me a lunch and I don't have a lunch today from there' he said. He could just not cope at all with that but was fine when we took it away and hid it all. He then had lunch with us and everything was fine.
But then he had to make cheese pasta again and was so wound up about it he didn't tell me he needed the ingredients to take in to college until 10pm the previous evening. I struck up a deal with the tutor and he came home with another tub of pasta, all fine.
Get this though, he had to do it again the next week!! Now I had a parents evening to go to so this gave me a chance to find out why we were having to overdose on cheese pasta. Apparently he just needs to be assessed on the boiling part. Mr T had said he was bored with cheese pasta and wanted to cook something more exciting (cannot blame him, even I was bored with cheese pasta). We suggested he made a pasta salad, take away the cheese sauce and highlight the fact that when he has done this it's chocolate cake next week!! Woo hoo.
So I waited in anticipation to see what would become of Wednesday's practical.....would we get pasta again?..............(I so want to put 'to be continued' here)...................but.......................NO we didn't get any pasta and I don't think Mr T will want to cook pasta for a long time yet. He flatly refused, got in a mood and had to do something else.
I kind of admire his autism sometimes because he will just say no but I do feel for him as he tends to bottle all his feelings up and then explode. He isn't the greatest communicator unless it's a conversation about the facts about Disney, Thomas and Friends or Star Wars so we don't get far on general conversations. I do encourage him to tell me about his days at college and sometimes I get a little of what he has been doing but sometimes he'll say 'oh I don't know' when I ask and there is no pushing it any further.
I don't like to see him anxious so the pasta saga will have to be put on hold for now and return to it with lightsaber in hand ready to tackle an army of stormtroopers. I can't wait for that.. In fact Mr T would make mountains of pasta in that scenario. It's tough being autistic sometimes as processing the information required by other people and understanding why we have to keep cooking cheese pasta is difficult for some. For some people it's a case of understating that there is further assessment needed in a educational setting but for him especially, he has cooked it once why would he need to do it again? I have explained believe me but no, he's done with the old pasta.
I'll keep you posted on this one but thank you for reading, I will be back tomorrow with Pass the Remote but for now..........
You take care and don't mention the pasta!
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.
Every Saturday will be about Autism, family and life.