So, how did I come to be writing a public blog?!
At the beginning of 2014 I was introduced to a (somewhat) local charity which focussed on providing parenting courses and offering support services for families with children on the Autistic Spectrum and with a diagnosis of ADHD. I was excited to go along and meet the team and I was very much hoping to be able to lend a hand in some small way.
Well, as it turned out, the charity and I were not a great fit (my Aspieness being partly to blame!) and the relationship did not last long.
As time passed, I became desperate to share some of my knowledge with those who most needed fresh ideas so I began looking around to see what else was out there.
And then, through a completely unrelated contact, I discovered the amazing Sarah P at The Avenue (based in Biggleswade, Central Bedfordshire) and everything fell into place. She is dedicated, thorough, hard-working, caring and determined and she was the one I wanted to give my time to. It was serendipity in action!
Sarah asked me to become an official volunteer and here I am! I agreed to work on The Avenue's already bulging information folders (adding what I know about alternative therapies/approaches, filling in any gaps in the home education information and providing an overview of PDAs (Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome)). I have also agreed to administer our growing yahoo group (ASPEE - Autism Support for Parents, Professionals and Educators) and of course, write a blog!
So, a little about me and my family.
My name is Natasha. I am an almost 37 year old Aspie single mother of 3 (soon to be 4) little ones. We live in Bedford, Beds with our cat (Sonic), dog (Tia), hamster (Cherry) and brand new snake (Strawberry).
My little ones are as follows:
Dominik, aged 10, ADHD, High Functioning Autism (PDAs), Dyspraxia, Sensory Processing Disorder, Central Auditory Processing Disorder, Giftedness and Misophonia.
Hannon, aged 7, NT across the board.
Lily, aged 5, High Functioning Autism, Auditory Processing Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder.
Bump, 19 weeks. :-)
We have travelled extensively with two of my children having been born abroad (Valle, Gran Ray, La Gomera and Los Organos, Peru). We have been living back in England since 2010 due to a family breakdown.
My working background is in youth work, childcare and teaching and ever since I can remember, I have wanted to inspire little people to find themselves and to be the best that they can be. I completed a degree in Law and Criminology from the University of Sheffield in 2000. I have also lived in America and South Korea prior to becoming a mum.
We have always been an unschooling family! I never intended to send any of my children to school (and it turns out that that was an instinctive and profoundly massive decision on my part). We have a simple structure with a set bedtime routine. The rest of the days we work around our challenges and work on our strengths.
Over the course of time I will be sharing with you our highs and lows, and hopefully helping all you sceptics to see just how well life can work for those on the Spectrum if you are able to let go a little and trust in their ability to find themselves.
It's gonna be fun!