Amy is a volunteer at our Basecamp 2 Programme and has very kindly shared her story for autism awareness week.
I chose to volunteer for Lothian Autistic Society as it is something I’ve always wanted to do since my 7 year old son was first diagnosed with autism. Having been through the process of waiting for a diagnosis, working closely with speech and language therapists and deciding on what schools would be best, I felt that I would be able to understand and relate to the parents of the children and young people I would be working with. I also know how great it is when your child achieves a major milestone.
I feel that I am learning a lot working with the young people at Basecamp 2, they are older than my son, so it’s a completely different experience for me and its very rewarding as they are all a lovely bunch of young adults.
Having a child with autism does have its challenges, most of the time, Alfie is a very happy, content boy, but his lack of communication does make it hard when he’s upset as he can’t tell me what is wrong. He is at the very early stages of using PECs and signalong, but still can’t communicate fully. When he is unwell, he has to be checked over as it’s not always obvious what is wrong.
Despite these challenges, it always amazes me how much Alfie can accomplish. He has learned how to swim because of his lack of fear and last year, when we moved house and he changed school, he was not affected by the big change at all and he kept on smiling.
Never underestimate a child or young person with autism, they can accomplish so much if you believe in them.