We are zooming in to yet another month and coming up to another of our meetings with the National Autistic Society Derby Branch so if you are in the area on Tuesday 2nd April at 7pm then please do come along to The Farmhouse Mackworth and join us.
Tea and coffee will be provided by the lovely staff at the venue or drinks are also available from the bar. We will have our annual AGM business to take care of at the beginning of the meeting but this won't take long. We will then be discussing our topic for this month which is 'ideas of friendly places to visit'. This is usually a great topic to share ideas on as the holidays are fast approaching and everyone tends to be on the look out for opportunities to get out and about.
So you would be very welcome to pop along if you are in the local area. The Farmhouse is situated at 60 Ashbourne Rd, Mackworth, Derby DE22 4LY. If you would also like to be kept up to date with any information regarding the Derby and District branch of the NAS there is a Facebook page here:
Thank you for reading today, please join me again tomorrow for Pass the Remote Sunday but for now.....
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......
A Meltdown refers to a sudden loss of control over one's feelings or behaviour. This can be displayed in many different ways such as anger, frustration, anxiety, self harming, tears and even silence.
When I first became aware and started learning more about Autism I thought a meltdown was a massive release of anger and aggression and that was it, for a lot of people with Autism their meltdown does take that form. Someone may physically damage the environment around them in some way or cause physical harm to themselves so in these cases it is important to know what to do when it gets to this situation or try our hardest to prevent a situation getting to this stage. Not always that easy though eh?
I got to thinking about meltdowns a lot this week and thought a lot about my son's meltdowns. He tends to do the opposite of the above and hold the frustration in, this will eventually display as emotional outburst of tears and if pushed to the limit he will hit himself but that's the worse case scenario.
Holding a lot of information in which he can't process properly leads to a lot of anxiety and this anxiety will start to show in him repeating a lot of verbal information over and over, this is his calming method, I know he's trying to get back to a level where he feels comfortable. We have built knowledge together as a family over many years and still we don't always get it right. He doesn't know how to process some information which is directed at him in some ways so we can never predict what his reaction will be. I know I can't raise my voice too much with him as this raises his anxiety, that doesn't mean he never gets told off but it means we go about it in a different way. My youngest son was always dismayed at the way his brother never got told off until we explained why. He gets it now.
In my experience I wondered how I experienced my own meltdowns and when I look at my behaviour, I'm very similar to my son as I burst into tears. This my release of frustration. I find anger and aggression frightening so it's probably a good job my son is like he is. I cannot be told off either, if anyone confronts me or I get to a stage where I can't quite work my reaction out it usually comes with a good cry. This was not a good situation when my brain got overloaded at college a few years ago and my tutors response was 'you need to pull yourself together', well yes maybe I did but I know that I wouldn't say that to anyone I know who was in a similar situation. At the time I was in the middle of a bout of depression too which was made clear when I started studying so I'm hoping along the line a bit of compassion may have been learnt since then.
Do get in touch with someone to help you if you do struggle with behaviour in any way. Everyones situation is different but there are techniques to help. As a local branch of the National Autistic Society in Derby we offer talks and seminars now and again regarding challenging behaviour and how to cope with meltdowns so check our Facebook page for future meetings www.facebook.com/NASDerbyBranch/
Here is some great information from the National Autistic Society website about meltdowns www.autism.org.uk/about/behaviour/meltdowns.aspx so I hope that helps a little.
We are all still learning more and more about emotions within the world of Autism and how they manifest and also making the people around us more aware how to help people if they realise someone is struggling with an overload of feelings. It does happen in so many different ways so we just need to be aware of this.
Please feel free to leave any comments below and let me know how you cope. Thank you for reading today and if you fancy joining me for some telly talk tomorrow it's Pass the Remote Sunday so come along!
Take care for now.......
I attended a seminar this week about Managing Anger with regard to those on the spectrum and how to support families too. It was really interesting and there were some very useful tips for handling certain behaviour, coping with anxiety and the dreaded melt downs.
I must admit that my son doesn't lash out and show his anger too much, he tends to do the opposite and when his anxiety hit's a high he keeps it in so much it comes out in a lot of echolalia and repeated behaviour. When we visited the dentist the other week I noticed that he had to have a sleep afterwards. The sensory implications of having a filling would have been massive and he coped, but exhausted himself.
Although anger can be very visible there are are some who do keep everything in which sometimes can have severe consequences too. My son doesn't always recognise his feelings and masks them quite well. The seminar did cover this as well which was good. I did contemplate whether this would be relevant to our situation as a family but yes it did. Bear that in mind if you get a chance to attend one of these seminars as it does cover coping mechanisms to help with anxiety, therefore helping to reduce the chance of getting to the meltdown stage, if that is at all possible.
The course explains what anger is, how to use the low arousal approach, coping with meltdowns and how to help your child manage their feelings.
If you cannot get to a seminar the booklet that accompanies it is available on the NAS website, just follow this link:
It only costs £5 and has quite a bit of information in there which you can keep referring to when needed. Always find support though if you need to talk to someone. There are many groups available which are great for families to get together and share experiences and information.
I would just like to thank the NAS for allowing this seminar to be given out to us as a branch and we hope it helped everyone who attended. These kind of courses are vital for people to grab solutions and ideas, not everything works for everyone in the same way but a lot of strategies can be adapted to help.
I hope this was useful and thank you so much for reading.
I will be back tomorrow for 'Pass the Remote' but for now take care.
I thought I would continue from last weeks post regarding Disability Living Allowance for children or DLA and just explain what happens when your child reaches the age of 16. It's ok, not to scary but it does involve re applying for PIP as DLA is not automatically transferred over. This can cause a bit of stress to people leaving them feeling very uncertain about what happens in the future for their young person.
PIP is a benefit for people with disabilities and is available to that person whether in work or education. It is not means tested and it can be awarded to those between the ages of 16 and 64 even if they are in receipt of other benefits so it doesn't matter how much savings you have it is there to help with care and and to get around.
The application process starts with a brief phone call in which you talk to someone about basic details and if the person with the disability requires an appointee. This person will handle any finances and tasks that the person with the disability is unable to do. After that a paper form will be sent out which needs to be completed and then if necessary there may be a request to attend a face to face assessment. The decision will be made after all the information has been collected and although there have been delays in applications the DWP do intend letting you know their decision within three months.
It is very similar to DLA when applying, there is a care component and a mobility so there are two different payments as with DLA. The form requests information regarding how much help is required with medication, feeding and drinking, washing, dressing, toileting, going out, communication, interaction with people, travel and managing finances. I thought it was a much easier form to film in compared to the DLA. It does take into consideration a wide range of disabilities including the difficulties people have on the autism spectrum.
There is a really good fact sheet available on the NAS website with lots of information about PIP, an easy ready guide which the government has produced, and details how to claim for it too. Just follow the link here:
It can seem like a minefield sometimes and I know this from experience. Forms are not my favourite thing neither is talking on the phone sometimes but I can honestly say these people are there to help. There are some people who haven't had great experience with this process but all I can suggest is getting as much help and advice as possible. Talk to other parents, find a support group or contact your local authority as there are people who can help. Please don't worry and try to cope on your own.
If you do struggle, contact your local NAS branch (details available at
www.autism.org.uk). If you are in the Derby area contact the Derby Branch through Facebook or by email at email@example.com
I hope this helps, thank you for reading and I will be back for Pass the Remote tomorrow, until then take care.
I know there may be many people out there who are aware of DLA but I thought I would just write a small piece about it for those who have not heard about it. It may be that you have just received a diagnosis and are at the stage where you want to know 'what to do next'.
Disability Living Allowance gives financial help to those who need extra care or help with mobility. You do not need a diagnosis of Autism to be considered for this help nor is it means tested, it focuses on how much care your child needs and whether they are able to get around easily.
There are two parts to a claim, a care component and mobility. You may claim for either or both. I would suggest putting a claim in for both as a lot of behaviour in relation to Autism such as lack of road safety, sensory issues and anxiety can be factors for a consideration of low rate mobility.
The care component looks at a need for the amount of attention and supervision needed over a 24 hour period. Don't be too put off by the form as it is quite lengthly and it does ask you to record tasks associated with eating, sleeping drinking, washing etc. This can seem like your writing a life story, it may seem very negative and depressing so I would recommend filling the form in stages, little at a time and take a break. There is help available if you are finding it difficult to fill in the form.
The weekly rates for the care component are:
lowest: £22 middle £55.65 highest £83.10
and for mobility
lower: £22 higher £58
DLA is usually paid every 4 weeks into a bank account of your choice, so it could be worth applying for to give you extra financial help if needed.
If you would like more information you can go to the main government website at:
This is for new claims regarding children up to 16 years of age. For new claims over the age of 16 you would apply for PIP which is Personal Independent Payment but I will cover that in a future post.
For Autism specific information about DLA go to the National Autistic Society website at:
For those who are in the Derby area and would like to know more about DLA for children the NAS Derby and District Branch have a speaker coming to talk about this very subject. Jane Owen-Pam is a Welfare Rights Advisor and is coming along to talk to the branch. It will take place at The Farmhouse, 60 Ashbourne Road, Derby. DE22 4LY on Tuesday 10th October 7pm - 9pm. To book a place please send an email to:
I hope that helps a little, please do try and claim as you may be entitled. In the possibility you get your claim refused you can appeal to the decision. There is support regarding this available too and I would advise to keep going, don't give up!
Thanks for reading today, join me again tomorrow for 'Pass the Remote'.
Take care for now.........
Well how about your local branch of the National Autistic Society? There are many dotted all around the UK and they are organised in different ways depending on the volunteers who run them. Some concentrate on fundraising, some are very proactive with running groups and activities and others concentrate on supporting families with support groups and advice.
At the Derby and District Branch we organise many support groups in the area which are open to anyone wanting to know more about Autism. This maybe because you are a parent with a child who is diagnosed with Autism, someone who is on the spectrum yourself, you may be a teacher or teaching assistant or someone who is studying at university and collating research for your work, support works in all different ways.
We, as a committee are very small in numbers but have experience of Autism. Some of us are parents ourselves with children or young adults on the spectrum or work in this field too. Our support groups are friendly, relaxed with no pressure to say anything if you don't want to, you can simply just come along, have a brew and a biscuit and just listen to others. Personally for me I don't think there is anything as good as mixing with other parents, it's where you get great first hand advice because these are real people living and breathing the Autism world. We've all coped, not coped, had success, made mistakes and some us have still got lots and lots to learn. You get to make new friends too which has been great for me as a single parent, it's been therapy at some points in life.
We work on the aspect of giving people a place to chat and signpost those to vital information they may need, if we don't have the answers for you straightaway we will find help for you so bear with us we will find a solution somewhere for you.
As most of our groups are based in schools we are now back in full flow after the summer holidays and have an up to date list of new groups with some interesting speakers coming along to talk to you. If you would like to book a place on one of our talks just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org otherwise just come along.
For more information on our branch or if you would like to join us as a volunteer we do have a Facebook page:
Here is a list of our meetings up until the end of the year
and if you would like to find a branch near you, you can search for one on the National Autistic Society website at:
I know sometimes for some it is hard to reach out for help and support. Some people find it hard to do and try so hard to cope until things become so desperate you can't cope anymore. We know how that feels and have all been there at some point. I hear a lot of people say 'I'm so glad we got in touch' or I'm glad we went to hear that person talk' or pleased they attended a seminar. There is so much information and useful too so don't feel nervous about coming forward. Help is available in so many ways, reach out and allow yourself to take it, WE ARE HERE FOR EACH OTHER.
I hope that helps a little and maybe I'll see you around at one of our groups.
Thank you so much for reading, I will be back for my TV chat tomorrow with 'Pass the Remote' so take care until then.
Every Saturday will be about Autism, family and life.