Bernadette, a parent of two children with autism who both attend our services has taken the time to tell us about her experiences.
I knew very little about Autism when my son was diagnosed and it’s been a real learning curve since! When my daughter was also diagnosed last year, there were a whole new set of challenges! We’ve been really fortunate to have had a great Occupational therapist who offered some fantastic tools and general support. Along with the range of courses, information sessions and local organisations, we have built a good support network!
The challenges do become greater as Thomas and Julia get older. Thomas is heading towards high school and there are struggles with the increase in demands of school work and socialising with classmates. Thomas can tire easily so a day at school often exhausts him, this means after school activities have to be kept to a minimum. Julia can struggle with focusing on tasks and concentrating but often needs to expend energy after school; the garden trampoline is used a lot!!
However both work so hard at school; Julia loves maths and Thomas loves reading and art. Both also love the water, Thomas joined the Wave project last September and surprised us by enjoying the sea and standing up quickly on his board!
Julia absolutely loves basecamp with all the different activities and Thomas loves Saturday club.
They never fail to surprise me with their enthusiasm and their determination to try new things whether that be surfing, water slides or bike riding. I’m sure they’ll continue to surprise me going forward!