Kim Mooney has kindly put together some words about her time at Lothian Autistic Society
Last year, by chance we saw your post advertising the Bathgate Basecamp2 programme. At that time Jake didn’t have any activities outside of school and his social skills were lacking. I encouraged him onto this place and within a couple of weeks he was so looking forward to Tuesdays. He made a “best buddy” there and the 2 boys now regularly FaceTime, play online and we have also organised a few meet ups. At the final presentation of basecamp the boys did their own stand up comedy routine with jokes they had researched. We can’t wait for the Basecamp 2 project to start again at the end of April. Myself and another mum fought really hard to get interest in this when it was feared it might not run again until September.
The boys came to the last karting holiday event and had a great time.
Since then Jake has also started going to an autism football session and started a music after school programme too. If it wasn’t for Basecamp2 and the staff, I suspect his confidence still wouldn’t be there.
Thanks for everything that you do and good luck.
Jake at the Family Activity Day
World Autism Awareness Day is an internationally recognised day taking place on 2 April every year. In the week of 1 – 7 April surrounding this day, we encourage the everyone to take part in World Autism Awareness Week – a full seven days where people across the UK take part in activities to raise money and awareness of Autism. All this week we will be featuring stories from a variety of different people who are involved with Lothian Autistic Society, from, children and young people, to staff, volunteers and parents
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!
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.
We’re delighted to have been awarded funding for 3 years from the Heritage Lottery Fund to run a new Saturday Activity Programme in Edinburgh.
More information to follow very shortly…
Lothian Autistic Offices will be closed from 1 pm on Thursday 21st December 2017 and reopen at 9 am on Wednesday 3rd January.