Being a parent of a child with Autism isn't easy and when you first start that journey of diagnosis the road can be long, tough and emotionally draining. You feel quite scared for the future, the unknown of what's to come, apprehension and worry for your child, what will happen to them and what a diagnosis will mean for not only your child but the family unit. I've wanted to write a post on what Autism Support is available in and around my local area for quite a while now and although I may not have every single piece of information, here is what I do know. This is some of the support available in Scotland. I really do hope it helps families out there who have Autism in their lives.
Autism Rocks (Fife) - Kaleidoscope Project
Fife finally have their very own, much needed, Autism Charity who have managed to acquire a premises. This means that people who have been diagnosed with Autism (from young children to adults) now have a place to go where they can be themselves, relax and not worry who's judging as everyone's all in the same boat. This charity really are amazing. They host and provide coffee mornings, teen to adult nights, family days at the weekends, pool parties, charity fundraising nights and much more. Autism Rocks are based in Methil but please check them out at www.autismrocksfife.co.uk.
Fife Carers Centre
A life line for many carers from all walks of life, the Fife Carers Centre based in Kirkcaldy provide a whole host of different support. From things such as helping to fill out those pesky government forms, providing workshops, a short break for carers (i.e. sending them away on a lovely break), helping isolated carers get back into the community, respite etc. They really are a god send for people who need some friendly support in caring for their loved one. You can check them out at www.fifecarerscentre.org.
Bongos Soft Play - Autism Awareness Session
Only parents with autistic children will know the absolute dread and fear of taking them to a soft play centre. Let's be honest though, we're not going to keep our kids locked away just because some idiot jumps to conclusions before finding out the facts are we now! Thankfully to make life easier for parents and their autistic children Bongos Soft Play in Glenrothes have dedicated the first Monday of every month as their Autism Awarenss Session where you can book a slot and go along without the fear of being judged. I haven't yet managed to take Logan along to one of these sessions but I definitely will have to soon as they bring out some of the sensory equipment they have as well. You can check out Bongos here www.bongobears.co.uk.
Scottish Autism is an organisation dedicated to enriching the lives of people with autism. They offer a wide range of services in Scotland which cater for children, adults and carers offering respite and short breaks as well. They even have an autism advice life to offer support and information throughout an individuals whole life journey. There is a wealth of information and different opportunities on Scottish Autism so check them out at www.scottishautism.org.
The Yard is a purpose built indoor and outdoor adventure playground for children and young people with disabilities. It's a safe environment where children and young people can experience play without feeling different. They run family, school and club sessions in the heart of Edinburgh and Dundee, and recently I've spotted that they'll be opening a new The Yard in Kirkcaldy which will greatly benefit the people of Fife. I can't wait to take Logan once it's all complete. Check them out www.theyardscotland.org.uk.
Family Fund is the UK’s largest charity providing grants for families raising disabled or seriously ill children and young people, helping 72,043 families last year with over £33 million of grants and services. I've recently seen some grants that have been handed out to autistic children for things like bedroom equipment, sensory equipment, iPads and technology devices, new bed, outdoor equipment such as swings etc. They're a brilliant charity so please do check them out at www.familyfund.org.uk.
Autism Short Breaks
Caring for someone with Autism is hard work. Of course you love that person but sometimes you need a break yourself, you're only human. Autism Short Breaks now provide funding to carers of autistic adults in Scotland to give them the chance to have a break and get some me time. Check them out and see if you're eligible www.autismshortbreaks.org.uk.
These are just some of the charities and places I know about which can greatly enrich the lives of people with Autism. If you know any more yourself then please do share in the comments for everyone to see. Thank you.