It was great to hold our first support group meeting again after the summer holidays. I am with the National Autistic Society Derby and District Branch and we hold various meetings every month but we do tend to have a bit of a break over the holidays mainly because some of our meetings are held at local schools but also that people go away on their holidays and have other commitments too.
We had a lovely get together and I probably find myself repeating myself a lot when I say how great these meetings are. I'm not going to apologise though as I think it's important to tell everyone how useful these meetings can be.
We shared a lot of our personal stories and our current situations and then were able to try and find solutions or at least be able to sign post people to other organisations that would offer further support. There was a lot of talk about diagnosis and how people are still having to wait. In desperation this is leading people to contemplate going private with their referrals or travelling miles to get their selves or their children seen.
This was so frustrating to see and I know the government are wanting to change this but it needs to be sorted quickly as I don't think it is acceptable to wait two years to be seen. There are also some schools who need to receive more training or support especially the smaller sized schools. There are many that are fantastic and are totally on the ball with seeking referrals but I suppose funding for a lot of educational placements is an issue.
We laughed.....shared our frustrations but also good news too and I hope people went away feeling that there were some answers and hope at least. I always worry whether our meetings lack a certain something if we haven't brought in a speaker but it's nice to have a change. I think you can still gather as much information from other people in a similar situation as well as you can from a professional.
So thank you to those people for a lovely meeting, please do get in touch with your local support group and don't feel at all nervous. We are all there to support each other and help, you wouldn't believe just by talking how much stress and anxiety you can release.....it does really help.
To find your local NAS Branch or support group then search on the Autism Services Directory which is located on the main NAS website here;
Thank you for reading today and please join me again tomorrow for some telly talk on Pass the Remote Sunday but for now take care.
Every Saturday will be about Autism, family and life.