Beverley McGuckin is an Autism Warrior Mum to her two children and works with young people with additional support needs. Beverley is a passionate advocate of the rights of children and young people with autism and their families and carers.
She has kindly shared her story about her Facebook Page and ASD Parents Info Sheet that supports many families across Lanarkshire, in our first ever guest blog. Thanks Beverley!
Are you an Autism Warrior Parent?
Ask yourself these 3 questions…….
- Are you a parent/carer who has a loved one with autism in your family?
- Do you feel like every day is a new battle that you have to fight and struggle through?
- Wish there was someone who could help you cut out the confusing and frustrating part and direct you to who can help?
Well relax and take a breath for a moment as there are many of us fellow parents who have been in your shoes. Either during the lead up and frustrating wait for a diagnosis or once you get it and then fall off the cliff edge as the help dries up.
This is one of the reasons I chose to set up my ASD Warrior Parents Page on Facebook. I wanted somewhere I could share and post information that I had been appreciative of and then to share it with other parents too. There are some fantastic support and activity groups out there but until you know which one meets your needs, my page is somewhere you can get helpful info. You can go to as many groups or as few as you wish, but here is somewhere to find out more. Mainly its full of hints and tips, discounts, benefits, equipment and courses all ideal to help a family dealing with autism.
In addition, we have an ASD Parents Info Sheet on all things autism. Facts and tips about websites and places to go if you need help with something in particular. For example: are there any courses on Makaton? Or where has the best Autism Friendly sessions?
The info sheet really is a collection of websites that you can visit to for further help and advice. As a fellow Autism Warrior Parent, you will have realised very quickly that you are your child’s biggest and best advocate. You are the one who is going to have to undertake quite a few battles to get your family what they need. It’s a hard reality to face on top of everything else that is overwhelming to parents on this journey. But from my own experience its best to know the truth and arm yourself with the best information and tools to do the job. There is no one out there who is going to do it for you. You need to learn the facts and what help is out there for you. Then you can begin to adjust your life accordingly to fit in with autism.
Check out the poem called Welcome to Holland by Emily Kingsley.
I found this very helpful to manage my expectations and further down the journey comforting to realise how far we had all came.
Autism Warrior Parents has been going for over 5 years now and over 650 local Lanarkshire families have joined the page. You can even post in it yourself if you find something that other autism families will benefit from. That’s how I do it. I try to think if my info would help someone else and try to remember how it felt back when I knew nothing.
I have made some of the best friends of my life on this journey and we have all grown together. My children are aged 9 and 11 now and I would love to say everything is much easier now. I would love to, but the truth is the challenges that we face as a family are constantly evolving. You just master one skill, and a new challenge rears its head. But I guess that’s true of many parts of life. One thing I do know – is that our autism journey has made us appreciate the moments however big or small. To accept our own pace of life and stop comparing with others.
Finally, if you get a moment you can stop by the page and learn or share something with us all.
Or ask a question…. One thing for sure is one of us Autism Warrior Parents will know the answer!