This usually starts with Diary of a …………….., so it is time for a change. I belong to a lot of groups for autistic parents, carers and grandparents, who care for an autistic child. There are different reasons for people joining the groups, number one being that they know others are going through what they are and also for information.
I belong to one in America called “We are proud Autism Parents” and there are lots on that group, from Belfast to Berkshire. For them the differences in each state means some get a lot of help and others get none. The one thing in common is that they are trying to do their best for their child. Some of the stories are horrific and you want to cry with them but many put up their autistic child’s birthday with a photo and because a lot of these children don’t have many friends, other members of the group post a Happy Birthday. They love it when I wish them the same, only I usually post it is coming from Belfast.
Well the first piece of good news is that we have black fully elasticated school trousers but in a slighter heavier fabric and for this weekend only there is 20% off these trousers.
As most of you will know I started the company because I have a daughter on spectrum. Kirsty is 19 and in some ways getting better, but in other ways worse. She attends Specialiststerne a couple of days a week, where they try to encourage their social skills and try to prepare them for employment. The world has become a much scarier place for her. She knows she will have to work, probably only part time and the thought terrifies her. She cannot speak to anyone she does not know. In 19 years she has never answered our landline and usually only texts on her mobile rather than call.
The challenges and joy of caring for an autistic child
She is attending an event next week run by Specialiststerne and the subject is “small talk”, she did not know what that was. She may be verbal, but she just doesn’t know what to say. Sometime if she wants me to know something, she will show me a video or post about autism. So I asked her to find me something that would be useful for parents to know. She did not write the following but she thought it may help parents. Please do contact us, if you have a burning question and I am no expert, but Kirsty is, as she lives it. I would love to know what your thoughts are on this. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org I am so sure the following will resonate with you.
I AM HERE
I AM LISTENING. I’m not looking into your eyes because I’m trying to concentrate on your word.
I AM PAYING ATTENTION. I just can’t process anymore information.
I DO HAVE FEELINGS. My facial expression just doesn’t match.
I DID NOTICE. I just wasn’t sure how to respond.
I TRY TO CONNECT. But it is still hard to relate.
I DO CARE I just find it hard to translate how I feel in a way that makes sense to others.
I DO WANT TO TALK TO YOU I’m just not so good in a crowded room. I’m not being badly behaved.
I GET ANXIOUS AND OVERWHELMED BY MY SENSES I’m not being rude, lazy or antisocial.
I USE EARPHONES, SLEEP AND SOLITUDE AS COPING STRATEGIES. And I’m not making excuses…… I’m just trying to say that our brains are wired differently