We started off the month with a coffee morning to mark WAAD - World Autism Awareness Day on 2nd April. Thanks to everyone who came and to Rose Theatre Kingston for being our hosts. The day started off great, lots of enthusiasm and support for express, lovely to see the community coming together.
The day got even better. We are delighted to report that our nomination of an asset of community value has been successful. It was especially poignant to hear the good news on World Autism Awareness Day. We are now working with our local council with the goal that express, as the first community group to nominate an asset of community value in the borough is also successful in acquiring it for the benefit of the community as a whole. We feel this is a fantastic chance to develop long term support for young people with autism and their families in the community. After consulting with families it is very clear that there is a strong desire and need for express and our vision. Our first introductory meeting with the council went well, now to prepare our bid. We have a very busy time ahead and all offers of support are welcome.
express also attended the Inclusive Jobs Conference hosted by This is Our Community. What an inspirational day, the speakers, the staff and the fellow attendees. An opportunity to work together.
Our Comedy Night - 'My Son's Not Rainman' - proved very popular and we sold out the cornerHOUSE two weeks prior to the night. It is a testament not only to how good John Williams show is but also the strength of our community. We were overwhelmed on the night with support and good wishes. The auction turned into a frenzy of donations, and in total the night raised £3,000! Thank you to our sponsors, the cornerHOUSE, John Williams, Tom Deacon, Sion James and all those who attended. We had a waiting list for tickets so demand for another night is high, watch this space...
We are also delighted to be able to tell you that John has agreed to be a Patron for express. John has always supported us and we absolutely love his show. A must see!
We attended a public meeting for The Rise School. If you haven't heard about the school please do look them up. www.theriseschool.com Their proposal is fantastic and supported by Ambitious About Autism and Dimensions. Please please The Rise School come to Kingston!
Talking of Dimensions - we are also very pleased to say that we are receiving support and guidance for our project which will be invaluable in taking things forward.
Not forgetting we also had the school holidays this month, and a trip to the Natural History Museum proved very positive. We used our icount cards to avoid nightmare queues and the staff were clearly autism aware although some members of the public still need to be reached. A few stares and tuts... perhaps we should have queued with them to speed up that awareness...
A trip to the theatre to see The Curious Incident of The Dog In The Night-Time was a much needed break. The show is absolutely brilliant and innovative, it brings autism awareness to the West End. Fantastic that the show won 7 (prime number ) much deserved Oliviers! Another must see.
On another note a confusing letter from school was received regarding our IEP review meeting this term. "Would I like one now or wait until the end of year transition meeting?" Hmmmm review targets when we have the chance to address any issues and support progress or wait until meeting ineffective... Which do you think a parent would choose?
Along the same lines having had a few years break from professional input as supposed to be getting from statement (just not happening), we are now back on the therapy trail! Expensive, emotionally draining but always hopeful of seeing some results, progress is moving forward, whatever your pace.
It's amazing the range of expertise parents are expected to have, legal, medical, therapeutic, educational, financial, etc etc
Just to make you smile... when your son is bored and stressed in the shoe shop waiting his turn to have his feet measured (apparently he doesn't need to be there), don't ask questions... He was hanging upside down from the chair, so I asked 'do you see anyone else upside down?' and he replied 'yes, everyone!' Well I did ask...