As the parent of an autistic young man I have for the last nineteen years been involved with charities whose remit is to provide services for people with autism. During this time I have been really struck that there is very little support for parents or siblings effected by a family member with autism.
A child’s diagnosis of autism is life changing for the parents but as it is the child who has the condition there is little support or thoughtfulness built into the system for the parent at a time when they are feeling desperate, vulnerable and frightened about the future.
My experience of being a parent of an autistic child is this, for everyday of the last nineteen years since his diagnoses, I have been my son’s advocate and protector for every single aspect of his life. This is something for which there is no training and there is little support. Care of the parents is not built into a system that often hardly seems to care for the child.
The pressure this brings upon parents is massive and many relationships breakup under the strain thus causing more instability to the family unit.
Brothers and sisters of children with autism often feel marginalized and alone and often develop their own profound problems yet there is little in the way of support for them as they come to terms with their sibling’s diagnosis and what it means for them and their family.
1:100 children are on the autistic spectrum. That is a lot of parents and siblings who need support.
Strong parents make good advocates. By supporting the parents and families you are in turn supporting the child with autism.
I am involved with setting up a new charity to support the parents and siblings of children and young people with autism.
Our objectives are:
- To support the parents and siblings of a child with autism at the time of a diagnoses and then later as they come to terms with the impact of the diagnoses on all of their lives
- To enable families with an autistic child /young person to take a holiday together as a family
- To create a retreat for parents of autistic children / young people to give them vital physical and emotional rest, space, time and support just for themselves
Nudo is raising £50,000 seed money for this new charity and will be donating the equivalent of 10% of its Christmas sales and income during 2017.
Katharine Doré OBE
Director of Nudo
For further information contact firstname.lastname@example.org