This week has been full of fireworks! And not the pyrotechnic kind either. My word a certain Celebrity caused a right old ruckus in Twitter land and social media when her remarks on a certain well known radio station shot through the fibre optics like a bullet! However it has raised the issue about support and parents, and is a hot topic of deliberation and debate.
As many of you now know I'm really passionate about supporting SEN Parents but there was a moment in our life that I was like a rabbit in headlights and nowhere to hide. I didn't know many playground mums and hands up I was quite new to it; the Childminder had done the school run before. I found myself shuffling in at the back and everybody seemed to have their own little group. My Sister had moved into the area and my Niece started the same nursery but that did not detract that I felt I was the only one juggling slippy balls. Well at the time they felt like dirty great big watermelons! I was paranoid that I had the 'naughty kid' because our 'Bob' was always on that 'mat'. The amount of times the hand beckoned from the nursery door and I would hear "Could I have a word!" The art of eye rolling became my new party piece and I became a master of defensive. If only there was someone I could have shared a thought, or bounce off ideas but since we didn't have a diagnosis nobody seemed to know where to send me. So I'd hit the internet!
Every time I thought about our situation I would well up, behind closed doors of course. I knew I just couldn't do that in public or I would just completely lose the plot. After us just plodding along on our own, I asked the Head if perhaps we could set up a group for the parents of children with SEN in the school. She shot right across my bow and told me that they wouldn't want to draw attention to themselves and some of them didn't even recognise that their child had a problem! Feeling somewhat deflated recoiled back into my world. By some sheer coincidence a lovely lady moved into the area whose middle child started at the primary school and unbeknown to me had another child with Autism. Whether the Head felt she needed to do a bit of back peddling I don't know but we were introduced and as they say in the movies 'makings of a wonderful relationship!' Mrs S and I co-run our voluntary group for local children with high functioning autism/Asperger's and have done for a number of years. Somehow we clicked and she is my Auty best buddy. We know that each other will just get it no matter how daft it sounds or how intolerable it is; we step in each other's shoes. Our relationship is really important to us both now.
We hear some horror stories about how parents and their Autistic children are treated, and it is down to perception and badly informed individuals a lot of the time I feel. Not being afraid to talk openly about your child's condition without worry of prejudice or ridicule is something we would all love to be able to do. That's so far short...
What I'd like to think is we can support other parents and ourselves in so many different ways. Don't think that the one nice comment you make to someone on twitter won't make someone's day, or fill their heart with your understanding because the truth of the matter is it probably will make their day. We can't see down a phone line nor behind someone’s smile so never underestimate the power of united support. Sometimes a smile is all it takes in the playground....
I'd like to dedicate this post to a wonderful lady in Twitter land who supports so many people with her fantastic Warrior Mum Journeys michelledaly.blogspot.co.uk Recently she wrote my story and by doing this I found support from so many different people. I realised that no matter how far along your journey you are it's reassuring to know you are not on the path by yourself anymore.