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April is Autism Awareness Month: Day 1 – Queues

Autism Awareness from 2017

With a hop, skip and a jump

April is Autism awareness month. For anyone who doesn’t have their head in the clouds and is already AWARE of autism let’s spread that gesture to ACCEPTANCE and UNDERSTANDING.

I can’t speak for all people with autism just because I know one and I’m not going to claim to be able to. Just like I can’t speak for all women or parents just because I am one.

But I *do* know Dylan and if I can increase the worlds understanding of Dylan and his autism using everyday examples then hopefully we can all create a society that has insight and understanding for him and others like him.

Day 1: Queues.

Dylan can appear rude because he often doesn’t understand or adhere to social rules such as queuing. To Dylan if he wants to buy something in a shop and sees a cashier at the till then he wants to…

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Efforts to include

It’s Easter Sunday and Dylan’s had a good day with a family lunch and after dinner games. Everyone enjoyed the spelling, maths and celebrity guessing games whilst Dylan requested sitting away and watching his favourite programme on the telly. After a while he came and sat back at the table with us so we showed him how to select the correct amount of cards to be placed on the board for each of us to take our turn on the game.

Now I know that Dylan couldn’t give a hoot about how many constanants or vowels we need to play but with support he enjoyed sharing the game with us and seemed happy to have a role within it.

Little efforts were made to promote inclusion; it doesn’t take much.

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A win for Dylan!

An overall funny week culminating in a win for Dylan!

He’s been playing badminton for the last 6 months. He started off not even knowing how to hold the racket or able to coordinate hitting the shuttlecock as a serve let alone hitting back a return. But surely over time he has got into the swing of the warm up (which must seem pointlessly running around the perimeter of the courts until he is asked to stop and handed a racket.) He has learnt how to handle the racket and the shuttlecock. He loves the return of the passes and sees it a a pleasant return the shittlecock game rather than a game that he should be striving to win.

Ultimately the sessions end with a light game of which scores are recorded on an app on a phone to try and demonstrate to Dylan when a pass concludes with a point and who ultimately gets the point. Winning is a difficult concept to understand and the scoring or scrutinising elements of the game resulting in the point simple delays Dylan from getting back into the game.

Until this week he’s always lost, happy just to play the game but there no hiding from it; every week, he gets his butt kicked.

Then there was this.

Following a week of ‘No!’ and of disagreements, Dylan plainly telling me ‘No’ when I suggest he uses his IPad so I can understand. He bellowed ‘nuts’ at me throughout a 40 minute car journey to speech therapy as he wanted to divert to the shops before his session. He has well and truly skidded into his teens this week with grunts, disagreements and good old ignoring of us.

It’s been tough but reassuringly typical and I like to think that it’s this fire in his belly that’s got him a win at his beloved badminton.

Go Dylan!

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Deep breathing.

It’s social worker day.

She’s half hour late so I’ve just rung to check I haven’t got the wrong date or it’s been cancelled.

She answered her phone.

‘Youre not in’ she barked into the phone as I introduced myself.

‘I am’ I say.

I’ve just been to your address and there’s no answer’ and reels off our old address, that we moved from over a year ago and have had social visits at since moving.

‘No, we’ve moved’ I calmly reply and give her our address.

She’s coming back.

I literally cannot wait.