Welcome to first blog of 2019 and the title is not going to change, by that I mean that this is the age I am stopping at. If I am still writing this in ten years time I will still be 60 (even though on the inside I feel about 30 and get a fright when I pass a mirror and wonder who the old woman is.) I will do a short paragraph on business but in this blog I want to concentrate more on the challenges that face our children every day. I am working on the basis that I don’t just mean our children in school but those who have left or will be leaving in this academic year.
Well business is going well and we are still adding to our range and also about to try and design another item that I have been asked for quite a lot and that is underwear. I initially thought that you can buy seamless pants and although many girls, my daughter included, do not like bras, they can wear crop tops. This can cause problems as by the time they tear the label off they sometimes fall apart.
Now I would like to talk about the children, my daughter left school at 16, she did manage to get four GCSE’s, English and Math she didn’t pass. Firstly I did not realize that she had the option to stay on as it was never mentioned until September came and they expected her in school. She was quite sure she did not want to go back to school. I was surprised as she knew school, and not great going into new environments. To this day I am not sure if she left because she was bullied (didn’t tell me) or because she would have had to go into a vocational class. I had warned that sitting about doing nothing was not an option. This bit is only relevant to Belfast Customers, but I will say, there could be something like this in your area but you have to find out for yourself. Quite by accident, due to starting business and looking for manufacturer I came across a place called USEL which is based in Cambria Street, Belfast more details below. They manufacture a lot of items one of them being mattresses for Harvey Norman I wondered how this was done as you imagine there would be a lot of noise and a lot of people on spectrum do not like noise. This place was so quiet I could not believe they were actually making something. That is only one area, they also take children and adults who are either on spectrum, have learning difficulties or are physically disabled. Chidren of 16 and over can be placed on a programme which covers trying to get them those important GCSE’s Math & English, as well as trying to teach them to be a bit more independent, it is done in small stages. They get them to take a bus journey, order a cup of tea etc. and the best thing is they go there for three days and they try to find them placements in local businesses and have a very high success rate.
We make an appointment, they were actually having an open day, this is going to resonate with a lot of parents. Three of us standing there hubby,child and me. My daughter is mute and not answering a single question that was put to her. People were lovely and were talking about what she would like to do, the first mentioned was catering and the answer to this was a very emphatic no, as it would involve talking to people and she wouldn’t be able to remember orders. The next one they mentioned was retail, well you can imagine, again much shaking of head, for the same reason, that she would have to talk to people, I was more worried that someone might ask “does my bum look big in this”?. If you are a mum of an autistic child you have to have a very thick skin as with no filter, they can sometimes be very harsh. After telling my little darling one year, that I was going on a diet and would be slim for Christmas, the next time she saw someone who was a bit on the heavy side at a family gathering, even though she didn’t know the girl, she walked up to her and she said I quote “Do you know if you went on a diet you could be slim for Christmas. I digress, the next option they mentioned was office work which AGAIN caused much shaking of the head and the reason given here was she may have to answer the telephone. It is a pity she would not take that option as she would be excellent, the only 18 year old who would not be running off to fix make make up (zero interest in clothes and make up) and she certainly would not be spending all day on the phone gossiping with friends. I am sure you are all dying to know where she ended up on her placement, well you have to read next months blog.
I would like to say to those mothers with young children, in my case it gets better, still not a big one on talking, but she has gotten so much better (due in part to Usel) and this week for the first time ever in her life I had to tell her to be quiet as I couldn’t hear news. Never thought that day would come.
Contact Usel on 028 90356600
or call Shelley on 07703831052