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We are very grateful to Crystal Jigsaw for contributing this guest post on the organisations that helped her family in their journey with their daughter who is affected by autism.
When your child is diagnosed with a condition that you know will change their life, not to mention your own and your family’s, you need to find support from a valuable source and from people who know what you’re going through.
My daughter Amy, now 11 years old, was diagnosed with autism in October 2003. There was support and it was a case of going out to look for it, but one vital network of support was the National Autistic Society, a nationwide charity that specialises in children and adults on the autism spectrum. This ranges from autism, ADHD, ADD and Aspergers Syndrome, all life-long conditions which need a substantial amount of support in order for the person affected to just live their life. The condition affects 1 in 100 children and the current ratio is 4 boys to 1 girl.
I became a member of the National Autistic Society (NAS) not long after Amy was diagnosed and I received a wealth of information that didn’t seem to be available anywhere else. I rang them often to ask for their advice and they put me in touch with various organisations including the Portage service, Family Fund and Parent Partnership, all incredibly resourceful with friendly staff to help. The NAS also publish a magazine called Communication which is delivered to its members on a seasonal basis, i.e. 4 times a year, and contains pages of wonderfully written articles on all subjects on the autism spectrum. With something in the magazine for everyone who is dealing with this condition, it is most definitely the best publication I have had the privilege to receive.
As April is known as Autism Awareness Month, I couldn’t think of a better charity to donate proceeds of my book to throughout that month and even managed to get Amy’s school involved too. They asked all the children to attend school in their own clothes on the last day of term and each pay £1 towards the charity.
A hugely worthwhile cause, it has helped me deal with and come to terms with my daughter’s condition, and has taught me more about autism than I would ever have learned anywhere else.
National Autistic Society
My Blog: Crystal Jigsaw
Amy’s Blog: Amy’s Special Stories