Tag Archives: mental health

Taking A Blogging Break Helped Me Get Over Depression

13 Aug

Usually you’ll find me saying that writing is the only thing that keeps me going, not this time! Blogging has been a big part of my life for the last five years or so, its provided me with a way to let it all out, acting as a type of therapeutic therapy. Suddenly all that changed!

Its no secret that the last couple of months (well 5 to be Precise) have seen me riddled with depression the way to deal with this type of hurdle has always been for me to write about any issues or problems weighing on my mind. But this time the thought of even sitting at the computer made me feel Physically sick. Everything seems a huge massive effort when your depressed, even the the most simplistic things like making a phone call or talking to friends. I noticed that this episode had me withdraw completely, even from my online existence, Twitter included! “Hell yer! Not tweeting! It’s gotta be bad.”

Slowly I’ve been getting back in there. I’ve been adding posts here and there instead of just going at it like a blogoholic! This hasn’t been easy for me! I’ve discovered that blogging isn’t like riding a bike. You do forget how its done! Well, the social media side of things at least! I’d forgotten that a tweet button and facebook share button was sat on my dashboard with the aim of getting me noticed, I’ve just been writing logging off and then going about my day.

I guess I did get to the point where blogging was no longer helping me but feeding a depressive episode that I was in denial about even experiencing. The things I loved about writing and blogging in particular, were slipping away from me! Looking back I realised that I was just going with it, blogging in zombie mood, doing it because its what I felt I had to do! After all I’d been blogging almost daily for years now.

Blogging is something I love dearly, something I enjoy doing and want to keep on doing. In order to be able to do so I needed to step away from the computer and deal with the crap clouding my mind. Only then would I be excited about the prospect of blogging once more.

At first things were strange, seeing my stats come crashing down was in all honesty somewhat frightening! I’d always proclaimed that I didn’t give a monkeys hoot about states but when you see them drastically plummeting you suddenly thing… “SHIT!” As you frantically make your way back to the computer to save your online identity. I didn’t though, I couldn’t, and that’s how I knew I had come to a point where I couldn’t even if I want to… I just simply couldn’t!

That didn’t mean to say I’d forgotten those who support me! My readers and of course other bloggers who I know consider friends.

Then there are the blogs I follow, and yes I may have been sat wallowing in self pity but I still read them I just couldn’t bring myself to comment as even that was a step to far for a girl on the edge! “Communication? No way! Say they replied back?” Yes, I really wasn’t quite myself.

So with two blogs on hold I went at fighting this crap head on! I don’t want to jinx things but hay I’m feel Ok.

Oh and guess what? I actually woke up and felt excited about blogging today.

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Shutting Down

22 May

I’ve been pretty silent, I know! Its not like me, not to blog for long periods of time, but these past few weeks have been different! I’ve actually been completely out the loop when it comes to social networking, my tweets have been few and far between and Facebook has been left unvisited.

I’m not to busy, I won’t lie! I’m not on holiday or having some girly time someplace fun. I’m at home, in pyjamas on the sofa mostly.

In my everyday life, my social commitments have suffered too. I’m not spending much time with friends, I’m not even answering my mobile or home phone when somebody calls. Its actually really stupid but I haven’t been able to complete the smallest of tasks. I dread having to do almost anything.

That’s how I knew…. The signs are all there, ones I’ve experienced before making them so apparent this time! Depression… I was depressed and knew I had to do something about it, and do so fast. But that was just it… I was lacking any get up and go which meant that the prospect of visiting a doctor or even booking an appointment to see one was all to much to bare.

Thankfully, I’m starting to feel myself again and though it will take some time to get on top of it all, I’ve started and that’s the hardest bit done.

So, why was she depressed, you may ask? Many assume its the pressures of parenting a child on the autism spectrum but for me that’s a little bit of a cop out. I’ve been parenting little man for almost 13 years. Since the age of 18 its been my life. I’ve since had two more children and being a mother to all three of my children has brought great joy into my life. Yes, when little man is refusing to get up from his bed or even leave the house of a morning I do feel a tad close to breaking point, but guess what? Its not made me depressed… I don’t think it has anyway!

The truth is, life can be a bit full on somedays and when all your problems collide that’s when things go a bit tits up. I can’t put my finger on just one thing and say its this whats caused this depressive period. That’s impossible!

With deadlines looming for reviews and guest post, I just shut off. This blog and that of my other were left at times for days without a post. With my hair thinning at age 31 years and my doctor telling me it was down to stress I just had to let go a little and remember what it was like to be me again.

I love blogging, that much I’m sure off. I just wanted to take a little me time in order to remember that.

So here’s to the continuation of blogging… Here’s to me smiling again.

Oh, and before I drop off, a message for the world! “If you ever feel like your slipping into a black hole of depression then act quickly to nip it in the bud! Many of us are not visiting our GPs, mainly due to the stigma associated with depression! Just remember its an illness and lucky enough its a fixable one too! To be the best we possible can we need to feel our best… Fact!

My Child’s Diagnosis Didn’t Give Me Depression! The SEN System Did That!

7 Apr

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Its funny, Just recently I found myself engaged in conversation With a fellow parent at my daughter’s school. We were discussing depression, a subject I won’t hide from!

This parent reads my blog and is aware that depression has sometimes been a part of my life… More so than not.

So, if I’m ever asked a question I will try to answer it openly and Honestly. I’m not ashamed to say… “Yes I had depression” Why should I be? So, Having engaged in conversation for at least five-minutes with this lady I suddenly came to realise that there was some type of crossed wires on her part in regards to a depressive episode I experienced around 3 years ago! This started me thinking… Does everybody think the same way?

So I wanted to explain something, and do so very clearly! My son’s diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome didn’t bring out any episode of depression within me. My child being on the autism spectrum has never actually left me feeling depressed! However, what has had me running for the antidepressants is that of the things that come with that diagnosis (like it being stuffed in a brown envelope and shoved in your hands). I’m not talking in relation to little man’s autistic traits, his sleepless nights or sudden angry outbursts! I’m talking about the battles to get others to sit up and listen. Basically, It wasn’t my child’s Asperger’s syndrome that depressed me it was the system in which I now found myself battling with.

You think a diagnosis is going to change thinks. The right help and support will come and be handed to you on a plate… Well dream on, it most certainly won’t! I learnt almost instantly, that for some, my sons diagnosis wasn’t worth the paper it was written on.

Over the years I’ve come to realise that being a parent to a child on the autism spectrum makes you a stronger person. It gives you fighting power, the type you never even knew you had! Because when your a mother its not only your job to ensure your child has everything they need to lead a full and happy life but the love you have for them that drives you. Almost any mother can relate to this regardless if their child is autistic.

Battling schools for appropriate educational services, educating society about autism and getting your child’s voice heard is all part of the package but it doesn’t necessarily mean its going to come with instructions, and I guess it was this aspect of his diagnosis that hit me the hardest.

Being told little man had Aspergers Syndrome was hard, I can’t deny it! No matter how prepared you think you are, you never are… Not really! Even when you’re told by specialists that its almost a certainty and you’ve therefore done all your own research and have reached the conclusion that “Yes, they are right… you can see it too!” I guess its because it makes it all the more definite, more final! But what must be remembered is that little man was the same child he had been the day before receiving a final diagnosis and I wasn’t depressed then!

Its all to easy to assume that the giving of a diagnosis is the reason why a mother crumbles and starts suffering such conditions as depression. What one must remember is that its all that comes after… The fight to make others do the right thing by your child, its this that can really drain your energy both physically and emotionally.

So if your about to receive that final slip of paper enclosed within a brown envelope, then brace yourselves… As the battle begins.

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STOP MOCKING CHILDREN WITH AUTISM

22 Sep

Why does our TV channels feel its OK to screen shows featuring comedians mocking children and Adults with autism?

What really annoys me most is that this same channel screens programmes that actually help to raise awareness for autism yet they are happy to feature so called funny comedians joking at the expense of a child like mine.

I was sat up late on Thursday night/Friday morning as I couldn’t sleep. I sat on the sofa wrapped in a blanket, a cuppa by my side, watching BBC3.

“Oh Russell Howard… I like him” I thought to myself.

I like how this young comedian is able to take something and brighten it up. His funny look on life is refreshing. He never seems to overstep the mark, and importantly he is able to laugh at himself.

Then what happened? Yer, you’ve guessed it… Russell Howard joined the many other unappealing comedians out there and I suddenly found myself going off him in what seemed like an instant.

The show ‘Right Here Right Now’ is a stand up recording of Russell Howard on stage doing his thing.

The not so funny joke…

“Why is Bieber famous?? I’ll tell you why, it’s because he said the word baby more times than any man in a 3 minute period. It’s like an autistic child in a maternity ward, Baby, Baby, Baby… OOH. That’s not music that’s mental illness!”

Did I overreact by writing this? I don’t think I did. For one autism is a spectrum condition, not all children with autism repeat things! Secondly and most importantly, Autism isn’t even a mental illness it’s a Neurological condition. Miss informing a nation that’s already built upon ignorance and stigma isn’t going to help anybody is it!

I don’t think any comedian who feels its OK to mock another because they are autistic or suffer mental health difficulties is worth watching. Would he had thought twice if this involved another medical condition? My guess is yes!

But above all what upsets me more is that the BBC are happy to screen such rubbish, especially given they broadcast shows that do such a great job to highlight the positives in autism.

I’m a mother who has watched her child struggle not just with aspects of his Aspergers diagnosis but at the hands of ignorance too. Yet somehow I do manage to add some Witt to my writing, sometimes my motto is “if I don’t laugh I’ll go crazy” but this isn’t the same is it! I’ve tried to look at what Russell Howard said and see some light hearted banter in it, sadly I can’t… It was just a horrid uncaring thing to say.

I think this show was a repeat from months back as the YouTube comments Stretch back for over months! Therefore maybe this is something of old news to you? Nonetheless, the comments are still being added to YouTube, some in support of the autism community, others just to comment on how funny they found it…

“Russell Howard is my role model. I use his jokes and my friends don’t stop laughing. If I saw Russell Howard in real life… id thank him for his work.” MrTheRUNESCAPER 8 months ago 3 Comment taken from Youtube

The above comment worries me, as does many others. No wonder its often a struggle to get our children through school without finding themselves the victims of bullies.

Please BBC, be more careful with the message your sending and Russell… You’re just not funny!

The Government Benefit Reforms are driving people to suicide

2 Jul

Well, many stood up and stated it would happen. Changes to the benefits system have continued to be introduced and slowly the cracks have began to appear!

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Was the DWP ready for the consequences when some affected claimants didn’t know how to deal with them changes? Seemingly not!

I was sadden to read the story of how a man had set himself on fire outside a Birmingham benefits office (Job Centre Plus).The man who was reported to have mental health problems was reportedly deemed fit for work despite being seen as vulnerable, therefore sparking a change to his benefits. It’s said that he was unable to deal with such changes (which is also rumoured to have caused a late payment) therefore making him extremely upset leading to him dousing himself in flammable liquid and setting himself ablaze.

The man was taken to hospital with burns to his legs.

This shows the sheer frustration the benefits system can cause to those who have mental health problems, disabilities and medical conditions. The cuts are affecting some of britain’s most vulnerable people and although I believe there are those that claim sickness benefits such as DLA when they shouldn’t I believe the Government are going the completely wrong way about fixing the issue.

This man was just one of many claimants forced to cope with huge overhauls within the system because he suffers from an “invisible” condition therefore giving them the green light to hit him with the back to work stick. It’s quite apparent from his actions that this isn’t a person mentally able to deal with the pressures the workplace may provide. Yes… People make mistakes, but medical assessments should be the best and when someone is very unstable for whatever reason it’s hoped that such professionals are able to pick these things up! After all this is not the first incident and won’t by any means be the last! Earlier this year there was reports of an attempted suicide in a Liverpool benefits office! Yes, these changes are really hitting the wrong people and this could lead to the government actually having blood on their hands.

In the past the Government has claimed that 600 million has been overpaid through the DLA’s current system. They claim that they are not trying to reduce the benefit or the number of people claiming it, but instead trying to reduce the growth rate in the number of claimants. Though since such reports were made we continuously hear about claimants losing out, societies most vulnerable people being encouraged back into the workplace before they are ready.

I recently received Little man’s DLA form. It seems that his current claim will run out come September requiring us to reapply. The letter makes it all seem so bloody easy (you know the type, don’t worry reapply and the benefit will continue as it always has done). Except I know that the system is under pressure to make them cuts and they are looking to save money any how they can. Little man needs his DLA as as much (if not more) than he did back in 2008 when he was first awarded it. The thought of having to fill out the huge form and endure the whole sodding process again, fills me with dread.

If you have been affected or fear you will be affected by cuts to sickness benefits (especially that of DLA) I’d love to hear your thoughts?

The Kleenex man

10 Jun

I sit staring at the large white clock to the point some may think I’m fixated. It reminds me of the type of clock I used to have at school. I would stare at that clock for hours longing for time to lapse around me.

“Miss Parkinson… Miss Parkinson, can you hear me”

Shut up I thought, of course I can hear you, it doesn’t mean I want to!

But it was I who had came here, no one had asked me to, I wasn’t forced, dragged kicking and screaming.

It was I who had picked up the phone, dialled the number, made an appointment.

Now I didn’t know what to say…I didn’t… well no, I did know why I had come. But now I was confused so fucking confused.

“Miss Parkinson, have you got to be somewhere”

Bloody hell, now I felt as if I was in school! Seriously is he joking?

Sarcasm within therapy whatever next!

“No” I said

“Ok let’s get started, but at your own pace…OK?”

I nodded, I wanted to speak, really I did. I had a lot to say but now I was here my head it was all muddled like a jigsaw with pieces missing.

I had been here before, I trusted him, the man who wore the nonjudgemental face, the man who always had a box of Kleenex at the ready.

That’s why I chose here you see, I needed to see the Kleenex man!

I’m still staring at the clock, its tick and its tock can be heard through the bitter silence.

He coughs…. I look round

He smiles as he passes me those tissues.

Taking one I hold it tightly in the palm of my hand, if I don’t I know I’ll fiddle with it… likely pick it to tiny little pieces.

I take a deep breath in closing my eyes I excel opening them once more.

“Nobody believes me” I said.

I can feel it, the warm water leaving the corner of my eye. Please don’t ask me, I think. But then he speaks

“Who… Who doesn’t believe you, and what is he they don’t believe” he asks inquisitively.

Once more the room is filled with silence and I can hear the ticking and the tocking of the clock. I look down and there scattered around my feet are tiny pieces of tissue.

“Who…?” he asks once more.

As I go to open my mouth I taste the salt form my tears, like a child I catch my breath…

“The school… The school” I whimper.

Silence once more… Tick… Tock… Tick… Tock…

Then before he can ask…

“My son’s school, they don’t believe what is happening, they think it’s me… They think it’s all my fault!”

“They won’t help me… No one will, why, why won’t they help” I plead.

You see, I was close to the edge of crazy, so fucking close. The situation was costing me my health, what kind of mother would that make me? On That very day and at that very time I wasn’t aware of what I’m aware of now! The very beginning of a Journey one I never planned on taking, I don’t have a choice, no one asked me if it was okay, god didn’t ask me. I hate it when people say that god does everything for a reason, he chose me because I’m strong. Sat here writing this I remember that day with my therapist so clearly, and on that particular day I felt anything but strong! I felt desperate, I felt as if I was standing on a mountain screaming and nobody looked up… Nobody! Your little boy is hitting you, his so angry and he charges at you like some crazed bull, but his not a bull his a 6 year old child who tells you “mummy I hate you” as he rages with sheer frustration! But why is he frustrated? It’s just that, my lack of knowing… He wants me to, he needs my to understand what his feeling! I miss the trigger I then spend a lifetime discovering it. No one can teach me, I need to learn myself! But this doesn’t mean we don’t need answers… Everybody needs answers!

Ashamed I said nothing, for a while anyway. But i’m no super mum and soon I broke… Started crumbling into a heap of madness, but when I reached out, there was no one there to catch me. I didn’t say I needed parenting tips, I didn’t need some false caring stranger visiting my home and judging my parenting… Especially when I had asked my sons school for help. I felt judged, bullied… I felt disregarded! They failed to notice the bigger picture, they almost cost my child his diagnosis of Aspergers syndrome, they almost cost me my sanity!

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#HAWMC DAY 25 – D-DAY

28 Apr

That day was here, it had finally arrived. She put on her coat, took a deep breath as she closed the door behind her.

Sat at the bus stop a thousand thoughts bombarded her brain, she developed a list of endless questions storing them safely to the front of her mind. Boarding the bus she knew it was almost crunch time. 

The child & adolescent mental health centre was a modern building boasting floor to ceiling windows that had been brightly stained in an array of colours. She sat staring at the rainbow of colour the suns ray had projected through the coloured glass onto the cold tiled floor only to have her trance broken with the calling of her name.

Looking up she recognised the woman stood before her as the Child Psychologist who along with others, had sat for hours observing the behaviours of her then 9-year-old son. 

The Psychologist smiled, though it was one of those awkward half smiles with her head slightly tipped to one side her whole expression cried sympathy!

“How are you?” she asked as they headed for the elevator! She responded by smiling gently while nodding her head and stating “Yes, I’m fine thank you” This couldn’t have been more dishonest! Her life seemed no less than a giant mess, her eyes alone expressed the story of sleepless nights and utter worry.

A weird, awkward moments silence commenced for what seemed like minutes though in reality it was only seconds when finally the ding of the elevators doors rang out. Stepping out of the elevator the Psychologist turned and with that same tilted head and half smile, asked “Are you ready?” 

She was as ready as she’d ever be, for no amount of time could ever prepare her for this day. 

After a short walk down a brightly lit corridor they came to a door, it was on the other side of that door that answers await, the answers to the question she had asked some two years before!

Entering the room they were greeted by a whole host of professionals, each on armed with a clip board, a glass of water and that same tilted head and half lit smile.

Taking a seat she felt her whole body tense, why did she suddenly feel this way? Looking at the tissues the Psychologist had now placed on the middle of the table right before her, she asked herself “Do they expect me to cry?”

After all why would she? 

It had been more than 18 months since that first appointment, her son had seen every single one of these specialist and more besides, almost all giving the same conclusion following observation of his behaviours! Yes, if it wasn’t for the mix up, the mistake of a closed case following a silly mixup in paper work, she was almost certain this day would have come long go.

After that first appointment and first drawn conclusion with a child Paediatrician she had gone home and researched all there was to know on the topic and therefore realised that yes the reality of what that Paediatrician had told her was in fact more than a possibility!

So… why in god’s name would this woman now cry?

There was a whole lot of words, words that went in without being fully absorbed. Each professional adding their view on what support her child would likely require, what this involved and just how to go about getting it!

Then a pause… 

Here it comes she thought!

Looking at the psychologist she concentrated on the movement of her lips as she said them words…

“So, we are all in agreement that the most suitable and fitting diagnosis for your child is that of… Aspergers Syndrome”

It wasn’t a shock… as mentioned the possibility had always been put forward.

As his mother she had taken it on board and adjusted her way of thinking when it had come to parenting her son, she already considered him a boy with Aspergers.

So… why did she find herself reaching for the tissues?

She didn’t cry through sadness, she cried because it was suddenly all so real, so official! With the diagnosis also came a certain degree of relieve, a reason for her child’s uniqueness. She could stop blaming his meltdowns or difficulties on that of her own parenting, school could stop shaking their heads and finally wake up to the fact that this is real and not an excuse.

Silence

Then…

“Do you have any questions”

Of course she did, she had that whole long list that she had readily stored at the front of her mind!

So… why could she not think of one to ask?
 
 
It’s been over two years and this woman has come along way. Like any family they have good days and they have bad days. She embraces her child’s uniqueness and encourages parents of newly diagnosed children to reach out to one another, sharing the message…
 
YOU ARE NOT ALONE!    

But do you know what?

She still can’t remember that list of all important questions she stored so safely in the front of her mind!

 

Post 25/30 in the wego health #HAWMC

#HAWMC DAY 23 – Yes, Girls Have Aspergers Syndrome Too!

26 Apr

Of course girls get Autism & Aspergers, it’s just that we don’t hear about it all that much, well, not on the same magnitude as boys.

So, the statistics indicate that boys rather than girls, are more likely to be on the autism spectrum. The National Autistic Society states that although there is no way of knowing the exact ratio between the two sexes, studies combine together indicate a ratio of 2:1 in boys and 16:1 in girls!

Wow, that’s a huge difference in numbers, however, could this be due to how the traits of autism are displayed differently between the two sexes or maybe its societies stereotyped way of thinking making this much harder to spot in females. 

It all boils down to us in a variety of ways, have you ever heard the health visitor refer to your son as the “Typical boy” or daughter as “Shy” as many girls are labelled to be? But I thought that everyone was meant to be different regardless of their sex!

Now, I’m no expert, not by a long shot, but I do remember some girls in secondary school who were so detached from their peers that they were ridiculed as being loaners or geeks. Some of these girls went through primary and secondary school never having friends and the ones that did try to socialise normally just ended up bullied by those she thought were her friends. I’m in no way indicating they were on the spectrum (who am I to make that judgement) but I know that teachers didn’t bother to find out why these children were so sad or withdrawn from those around them. As long as they produced the work expected of them it was all that mattered! 

As girls we express emotion in an all together different way then boys (well this is what we are made to believe). Boys are seen to display more challenging behaviour and as a result they are more likely pulled up as having an issue or underlying condition that needs addressing (that or the teachers just can’t handle it so ship them of to the child mental health team). I believe this to be why my own son received a late diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome as despite him having reasonably challenging behaviour within the home from quite early on, this wasn’t displayed at school, just suppressed making him explosive on his return at 3.30 pm Monday to Friday. Nonetheless, once this behaviour could no longer be contained, what with his senses becoming more heightened making him more likely to tip over the edge, the school were all for statementing and special school!

Girls will always be seen as better communicators than boys and many feel that girls on the spectrum are better able to disguise symptoms whether deliberately or not. I guess this fact would make a condition such as Aspergers far harder to spot as this wont normally involve any delayed language skills.  

As well as that of the above, girls are also seen to be “Just shy” or “Over sensitive” We are thought to over dramatise and cry at the drop of a hat. Us girls are seen to be more likely to have low self-esteem or a poor self image, especially during our teen years, hence the reason girls are far less likely to be referred for any type of investigations, especially if they are bright and advanced within certain areas of they’re learning.

Another theory is that girls inherit an X chromosome from their fathers which protects them from the development of autism, though if this was the case I’m sure the science of today could do a much better job of proving it!

When reading an article on the NAS site, some excellent points were made such as, girls on the spectrum tend to have similar interest to those girls not on the spectrum, example being animals or horses, soaps or celebrities. These interests are therefore not seen as usual. However once in their own safe space interest tend to be much more obsessional than that of a “Typical girl”

So, the question is “Are boys more likely to have autism and aspergers than that of girls or is it simply because the criteria used to diagnose autism and aspergers is one built purely on the characteristics of male behaviour?”

Here’s a few videos by two different girls with a diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome, these videos and more can be found on my channel under my subscriptions. 

23/30 in the Wego Health #HAWMC (today’s challenge was a free choice topic). 

#HAWMC Day 20 – A cure for ignorance

24 Apr

The 20th #HAWMC prompt was to come up with a cure for your health focus. The only thing was, I didn’t need a cure for my health focus! Yes, there is plenty of things I wish that I could make that bit easier for my son who has Aspergers Syndrome but I wouldn’t go as far as stating he needs to be cured!

With the above in mind I wondered what I’d write about instead, then it came to me… How about a cure for other peoples ignorance?

The majority of our society remains misunderstood when it comes to the autism spectrum. I hate listening to the remarks of others when speaking about something they lack a great degree of knowledge in. OK, ignorance isn’t always the fault of an individual, some just haven’t been exposed to autism, therefore not having any reason to discover and learn about it! Others are simply misinformed via the media or other sources.

Then we encounter them cases of wilful delusion, people who understand more than they care to admit but simply ignore it. Those that refuse to change a certain view or way of behaving regardless of how well educated they are on the subject. It’s my opinion that this kind of ignorance is often found within schools, you’ll find teachers that agree with the difficulties you state your child is experiencing yet fall to note the concerns or apply for extra funding so state there is no problems within school. From personal experience and through discussions with other parents of children on the spectrum, It would seem that many school who have a child on school action plus have failed to fully use its resources despite having received the funding so when it comes to you asking for a statement a school will sometimes discourage a parent from doing so advising them to leave it a few months and stating that there are one or two things they can offer in the meantime.

This is why many autism activist campaign for it to be made a requirement that all schools train and educate its staff in all of SEN and that of the autism spectrum.

You see, some people will claim ignorance to be immoral but how can one understand something if they haven’t been educated on? The fact that one person feels they have the right to judge another with little evidence to base their conclusion upon is that of ignorance in itself… after all evidence can only be formed if those collecting it look for it and therefore learn more about it!

I’m guessing almost if not all parents of a child with autism or aspergers syndrome have been on the receiving end of ignorance at some stage of their child’s life. The parent of the child who really struggles with everyday experiences such as shopping will know all to well what its like to be stared at and judged just by looking at their fellow shoppers! Yes, it get does get easier with time, sometimes I fail to even notice those stood around staring, the whispers or continuous head shaking motion and tutting sounds many make and though you know its there, some days you’re just to tired to care!

Nonetheless, Regardless of how accustomed to it one may become this is somewhat besides the point! People need educating but sadly you will always find not every ones willing to step forward and learn! Of course we can’t make people think before they judge, only they can do that. Plus we all do it in some form or another whether it’s in relation to autism, mental health or something else altogether. However, it will eventually still grind you down, OK, not everyday, but those that do are enough to drive you into a state of depression, insanity or both!

Parents of children who have only just received a diagnosis or even those of undiagnosed children can find ignorance much more difficult to contend with (I know I did back in the earlier days). What’s more ignorance can also be an extremely upsetting experience for the child on the spectrum, especially those considered more high functioning. Again I feel many assume that because it’s documented that children on the autism spectrum are in their own little world they therefore often disregard the child’s feelings simply thinking they lack the intelligence needed to understand.

Well its a fact, no one wants to be judged, especially when it relates to the way they bring up their children. The child with autism is often labelled a menace to society, the child heading for an ASBO by its 5th birthday… no one wants their child to be thought of in such a way! It’s this part that most parents find the toughest overall.

Of course we as parents can’t spend forever worrying what others do or do not think of us and I for one don’t seek the approval of society on how I parent. I don’t need to be told whether I’m doing an efficient job or not, I don’t seek any ones approval apart from that of my own. It’s took me a long time to be able to actually feel this way, yet there will still be those days I slip and break at a strangers glare or ignorant comment whether it’s in a week, a month or even a year.

So here’s my final thoughts to wrap this post up! Ignorance is actually a state of unawareness which can in fact be cured with a little bit of educating! Those that receive that education but chose to ignore it don’t only become intentionally ignorant but are also filled with a degree of stupidity. Bottom line… We don’t need to find a cure for ignorance because there is already one available in that of education! What we do need is a cure for stupidity to finally fix the problem!

Image credit to the fabulous Chato B Stewart who blogs at PsychCentral.com an activist for mental health who uses a bit of healthy humour within his work

Post 20/30 in  the Wego Health #HAWMC 

#HAWMC DAY 13 – The 10 things I can’t live without!

13 Apr

The health activist writers month challenge (#HAWMC) is in full swing and I’m really quite enjoying the daily prompts. However, I wasn’t overly keen on today’s but given this is meant to be a challenge, I didn’t bail out.

 So, when asked what 10 things I couldn’t live without, I got my thinking cap on…

 

1) My Children: Obviously the first thing I’ll list is this! My children, they’re my everything, my who entire life, the reason I breath. A life without my kids truly isn’t worth living!

 

2) Friends and family: My mother and father who reared me and made me the person I am today. Friends who have been amazing through some of the most difficult times of my life… I’m truly thankful to you all, if only you all knew how much!

 

3) Health: I want to be around for many years. I want to watch my children grow and evolve into adults, finish education, get there first job, get married and invite me for Sunday lunch.

 

4) My blog: How superficial you may think? But this is my outlet, a place to let of steam, share any happiness and achievements along the way. It’s got me through tough times, provided a connection to something I never knew existed. Who would ever think a blog could save someone? It saved me from insanity, that I’m thankful for!

 

5) Passion: It’s what drives me to do the thinks I do. To live without passion would be like living without food and water for me!

 

6) Dreams: Whether they amount to anything is totally irrelevant, they keep me smiling and give me something to aim for… surely we all have a dream?

 

7) A Voice: No I can’t sing (I actually recall my mother telling me I sound somewhat like a cat crying out in agony) but it does give me a way to speak up when it comes to the things I believe in! It’s helped me to raise awareness for autism and aspergers as-well as a number of other charities and campaigns. I’ve realised how powerful a tool one persons voice can be, you’ve just got to know how to use it!

 

8) Technology: I can just imagine my grandmother shaking her head if she was alive to read this! Yes, she would likely tell me and in no uncertain terms, that In her day people spoke to each other face to face, not all this texting and emailing rubbish! But we are now living in a modern world, one where my Mac and my iphone have become something of a second skin. These tools along with the rise in social networking sites have provide me with more than just a way to communicate with those out of reach but has also provided me with a platform to raise awareness for something I believe in and feel passion towards! The facebook support page now has over 5,000 members and continues to grow, I love that it’s become a place for parents like myself to gain support and friendship with those who relate most. I’ve also found a place to release inner creativity, experience things I otherwise couldn’t or wouldn’t have! And along the way I’ve meet some amazing people, some Im pleased to have become firm friends with.

 

9) A Little Me Time: Sounds a strange one but without it I’d go absolutely bonkers… I’m sure of it! I may not get a whole heap of it but what I do get I fully appreciate it.

 

10) Memory’s: It’s memorise both good and bad that help me mould my future. I am able to learn from past mistakes, avoiding any recurring undesirable situations. Those help memories keep me smiling when times are difficult… Memories really do help create a more positive future. 

And an extra one for good measure…

A sense of humour, the ability to laugh at yourself. Life is a serious affair but a bit of laughter is good for the mind!

 

Post 13/30 #HAWMC set by wego health

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