Ali, Jenny Cornwell and I spent last night listening to appr. 30 parents taking part in the first of 8 educational/information sessions on autism.
The educational sessions are great with lots of information and advice on many issues our children face and the impact it has on us as parents and the rest of the family. Everyone introduced themselves and told us about their child : age, gender, strong points and “issues”…
What I found so amazing was the breadth of strengths: numbers, memory, creative writing, poetry, wheel hubs, minecraft, ipads, rugby, pets, architecture, academia, second world war aircraft….and how those parents faces became animated and happy talking about these. What amazing children!
The “issues” were along similar themes with anxiety, social isolation, frustration, school… to name afew.
When I ponder the journey we have taken as a family from our first child being diagnosed I think I often forget how things do change.
Here are three things which struck me as being very different to the educational sessions I attended 11 yrs ago.
- We spent a lot of time introducing our children by talking about their strengths, the good bits, the talent, the creative side..And there is a lot of this!!
- There were a lot of older children being diagnosed in their mid to late teens who might of previously slipped through the net.
- There were many more girls…….as 11 yrs ago I was alone in my educational sessions
I feel this all bodes well because I have long felt that many teenagers slipped through the net until the wheels come off later in life and girls?……don’t get me started on that one.
So, I hope the parents left with a really positive feeling knowing that they were not alone, life isn’t at an end and there are so many good things to cherish.
It’s family life Jim but not as we know it.