Autism: Parents take control.


A lack of services has led families affected by Autism to take control by setting up a support centre to provide help for each other. Nationwide the lack of help and services is a big issue, especially for families with newly diagnosed children.

I have been to visit a fab  group of parents who have formed Halton Autistic Family Support Group, they have opened a charity shop to fund a family centre and provide help and support for families in Halton.  After lots of fundraising they have rented an empty shop in the town centre, without help from the Council or health authority.  The front of the building will provide the shop, with offices and a room for ‘drop in’ purposes behind,    they are hoping sales from the shop will cover the running costs.

The post of a Development Manager has been funded by ‘The National Lottery’ but essential volunteers have been working round the clock to prepare the rooms and stock the shop. The group plans to provide activities such as music tuition, games, use of computers as well as a welcoming face providing access to information for parents and adults. They will be organising day trips and launching a buddying and outreach service.

This is their aim:

To provide better quality services for families and empower them with the right information and help them through tribunals and legal procedures. The future of these children depends on them having the right level of support at an early age. 

This will be a well used service as there are about 300 children with autism in Halton and as many adults. It is a credit to these individuals who have gotten together to provide support for others in their situation but absolutely shocking that they have done it without any help from local authorities.

This is what The National Autistic Society say:

So many children and adults with autism are in need of services – as are their families and carers. But people affected by autism often find that they can’t get local support that meets their needs. 

I think this is something we will see more of.  We wish them lots of luck and I for one will show support and travel down there with my donations and of course to spend some money.  Who doesn’t love a rummage in a charity shop.


Saturday 6 – My top parenting articles from the news this week.


Here is another selection of family news articles for parents from the past week.

Mental health spending cuts.
After labour asked the government for Mental Health spending figures they discovered a £50million cut in spending, accusing the government of breaking its promise to make mental health a priority. Is this why in November a 16-year-old girl from Devon spent two nights in a police cell as no psychiatric bed was available.


What’s the point in School league tables.
Contrary to popular belief not all parents check school league tables when choosing a school. If you ever read this about our experience you will understand why my opinion is I don’t think you should either.


Did you explain the Charlie Hebdo attack to your children?                                                    Bad news is unavoidable so is there any point in trying to shield our children, it’s probably more important to give honest age-appropriate answers from adults they trust. Sally Peck explains how.


A heartbreaking letter from the parent of a child living with bullying, a child who is starting to believe life is cruel not fun.


A new perspective on teenage Mothers.                                                                                          As a woman who became a mother at the age of 40 I often wonder how life would have been if I had been 20. Next week a photographic project about teenage mothers gets an airing in the House of Commons. Creator Jendella Benson hopes it will prompt MP’s to question their prejudices and preconceptions.


Another list for parents, happy habits!                                                                                            As part of positive parenting do you have ‘happy habits’ in your family? Are yours on this list, or like me are you grabbing the Gin as you head into another ‘mum fail’ moment.

Do you have any opinions on these articles?  Let me know what you think, I’m always interested to hear your views.



Pudsey Pride

Oh Pudsey how your image, inspires us to donate

On a night of fun and frivolity, that makes us all feel great

But interspersed with sadness, of tales so raw and true

As images of children in need, inspire to support you

In a time of government cutbacks and money being tight

who’d have thought last years target, could be smashed in just one night

So now the night, is over and thank you everyone

and this is where your money goes so support can carry on:

Helping under 18’s dealing with

Illness, distress, abuse or neglect

Any kind of disability

Behavioural or psychological difficulties

Living in poverty or situations of deprivation

A project to run a variety of extra curricular clubs within school, specifically aimed at SEN children, which will hopefully help build self esteem and confidence, encourage new friendships and help widen the opportunities for children to succeed.

A project to allow day time opening at weekends of an emergency over night hostel that is normally closed during the day time, which caters to the needs of young homeless teenagers.

  • A project to work with young people with aspergers, ADHD and emotional and wellbeing issues to carry out an intergenerational oral history project to increase confidence, team working skills and improve relations between family members.

    Mental Health Young Carers Support project will provide flexible outreach support for Young Carers who care for parent(s) with mental illness, alcohol or substance misuse issues.

    The Children and Young People’s Counselling Service will provide counselling to children and young people who have suffered sexual violence via a range of approaches to benefit the individual needs of children.