The National Autistic Society have issued a few videos now under the 'Too Much Information' campaign. You may remember the young boy in the shopping centre and the young lady taking the bus well this is the latest video.
All of these short videos give the public a sense of what it is like to have Autism and give and insight into what the individual on the spectrum may be feeling in different situations. Featuring Saskia Lupin this latest offering highlights how a train journey can affect someone with massive sensory issues. The sounds, smells, noise and invasion of personal space can have that much of an effect that it can stop someone with Autism venturing out. It really can be too much to deal with.
I find this quite emotional to watch but so effective and I hope this gets over to everyone. I hope this will make people think about how someone else may be feeling and allow us all to think - how we can help someone in this situation cope? We don't want anyone to feel a prisoner in their own home, but that's how it can be, the pressure can be just overpowering and it can just feel easier to stay inside.
If you would like to watch the video you can on the NAS website here:
It is literally just over one minute long and please take a look, if you ever wonder what it can feel like to have Autism this gives one persons perspective. There is also information here of how you could help someone. Make a pledge and show what action you would take.......lets make a change not support or judge but recognise and help.
Thank you for reading today......please join me tomorrow for Pass the Remote but for now take care.
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.......
Coming up on the 31st January is a special event taking part in Parliament to help push the Government into taking action to make sure no child is held back because they are Autistic.
Half of parents of autistic children waited over a year to get strategies in place to support they're children. while in school and this just isn't good enough. I must admit I've always had great support from all of my son's school and his college at present but I am a parent that is very pro active and won't settle for anything less. It helped that my son's diagnosis came early on as well so we were able to get his support put in place very early in his education. Some people find it hard and just struggle to get help so we need to make sure the support for our children is universal and there for everyone.
It's not always the schools that are to blame, sometimes it just comes down to more awareness and training. Some schools are better at supporting students than others but wouldn't it be great if those schools who do succeed in this area could support those other schools that struggle. Surely it's a case of sharing information and strategies that work and having support for every child but the Government need to deal with this and now! It will come down to funding and that varies within different areas but it's time now for our MP's to bring attention to this matter and find a solution.
I think it's a shame that less than 50% of teachers feel confident in supporting children with Autism and that 42% of parents were refused an assessment for their child when first requested especially 3 years after the Government had put a Special Education and Disability Needs (SEND) plan in place. Something's not working is it?
The National Autistic Society are asking you if you would contact you're MP and get as many to this event as possible. The details of how you can go about this is here on the NAS website:
Please give it. go and lets make the #HeldBack campaign successful.
Thank you for reading today, join me tomorrow for Pass the Remote Sunday.
Take care for now and remember #HeldBack
Your Autism is a great magazine which you get as part of your membership with the National Autistic Society. It is delivered to your door four times over the year. I love a read of this as it has some really good articles and interviews.
This month's edition includes an interview with Anne Hegerty from the quiz show The Chase. I'm a big fan of The Chase and the 'Governess' so I enjoyed reading about her life with Autism from diagnosis and how she became involved with the programme.
There is also information about accessing mental health support from Lucy Armstrong who is a advisor from the NAS helpline.
Another great interview in this edition is with Travis Smith who plays Mark in the new series of The A Word. It was lovely to read about his experience portraying an Autistic person on TV, drawing on his own experiences as a Autistic teenager.
The magazine also includes Your Autism Extra which is an online extension. It offers bonus material, reviews, advice and artwork. Members can also access an online version of the original Your Autism Magazine too.
Annual Membership for the NAS is offered to:
an Individual - from £24 - concessions from £8 - overseas £36
Joint Membership - from £30 - concessions from £12 - overseas £42
to an Organisation - from £60 - overseas £66
Just go to the NAS website at www.autism.org.uk for more information about membership and to take advantage of your magazine.
I do bring past issues of this magazine to our Derby Branch meetings so feel free to come along and have a look at them and see what you think.
For now thank you for reading today and please join me tomorrow for another 'Pass the Remote'.
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.