Heres a book review for you from Suzanne

I can highly recommend to readers ‘The Reason I Jump’ by Naoki Higashida. It has a forward by David Mitchell who helped translate it. The author is a 13 year old boy with severe autism. Although unable to speak he has written this amazing book. It lets you in to the world of living with autism and how things affect him and why. Chapters are very short and start with a question such as ” Why don’t you do what you’re told to straight away?’,’Why do you line up your toy cars and blocks?’, ‘What causes panic attacks and meltdowns?’ I am a parent of a 6 year old boy with autism. Of all the books and literature I’ve read on autism( and I’ve read many!) this has to be the most powerful and insightful. I finally feel that I can begin to understand my gorgeous boy and most importantly be able to help and support him better.

Exciting News!

One of the founder members of PAN, Suzanne, has agreed to blog with me.  Here is a bit of information about her.

I am a SAHM to 3 children, Elizabeth 17, Robert 6 and Matthew 4. I moved to Derbyshire in 2004 when I met and married my husband. Prior to this I had been a single parent for 8 years to my daughter, so understand the challenges this entails.

I am also a full time carer to my husband, who is disabled. Our lives changed when he was diagnosed with a condition leaving him physically disabled and in chronic pain. Before this I had been working full time as a primary school teacher. I taught for 16 years in London, Liverpool and Derbyshire and achieved the role of ‘Assistant Head teacher’. I therefore feel I have some insight into the education system.

Robert was diagnosed with Autism when he was 4. He attends mainstream school with a Statement of Special Educational Needs and receives 23 hours 1:1 support. His needs are many but as the saying goes: ‘when you’ve met one child with autism, you’ve met one child with autism’. I have cried many tears; some of joy, some of frustration and some of sheer exhaustion.

Having a child with an additional need has a huge impact on all the family and I am constantly worrying about the affect it has on Robert’s siblings. I strive to be there for all my children and give them my time and love equally. This is not always easy.

My son has taught me so much about myself, other people and about life in general. We truly are our childrens’ advocates, they need our strength and love to thrive in this world that at times can be so difficult and confusing for them.

I have been lucky to made many new friends through attending local support groups. Although our children are all individuals and their needs all vary, we share a very special and common bond.

I hope to be able to share some of my journey with you.

Parenting Additional Needs

This is my first post to tell you about me, my friends and family and what I do.  Im a 32 year old SAHM of 3.  My eldest Oscar, 9, has ADHD, epilepsy and is just being assessed for ASD.  My daughter Enid is 3 and my youngest Izaak is 2. 

With the help of my friends I run a support group called ‘Parenting Additional Needs’ in Matlock,Derbyshire.  We help support parents and carers of children with any additional need throughout Derbyshire.  We hold monthly meetings and also holiday activity days for the whole family.

I dont know how this blog will develop, but Im thinking reviews of books and products related to ASD, ADHD and other additional needs, what life is like parenting an extra special (and somewhat challenging) child! and filofaxes.  Those of you that know me know there has to be some mention of filofax in there somewhere.  How else am I supposed to organise 3 kids, 3 lots of appointments for just one of my children and a support group without the assistance of my trusty filofax!!!!!!