Today’s Special Saturday is on the theme of “I wish I could get funding for ……”
On twitter I’ve already mentioned how I’d love to have a sensory room for my children, particularly my son who would really benefit from having such a room. For this post however I’ve been more ambitious about what I would do if I had a significant amount of funds.
1. A school that teaches and supports children with autistic spectrum disorders (including asperger syndrome) in my town. This would mean children are not forced to travel huge distances to schools outside my borough or parents feeling forced to home tutor because there is no other option. I appreciate that there are parents who want to home teach and if this is the case then I think they should be supported. The point is, there should be more choice. At the moment educational provision for those with autism spectrum disorders is dire.
2. An all inclusive playground or two in my town. Currently the playgrounds are dismal are tend to consist of the obligatory slide, swing and roundabout. They provide little for those above the age of 12 and those with disabilities. I’d particularly like to see play areas with more sensory play for all ages. My 13 year old son still enjoys sand and water play but often he is deemed too old to play in them. As a result we often experience unpleasant looks and comments from those who do not realise that he is autistic. It would be nice to enjoy a play area without all these difficulties.
3. A swimming pool that is warmer than the municipal baths. Like a lot of people with autism, my son gets a lot of comfort from being in the water. Often he does not want to swim but just likes to enjoy the sensation of the water around his body. I’d love to have access to a pool that is warmer than the one we are using at the moment.
4. Sports and social provision for those with high functioning autism or aspergers. I have mentioned this before (click here) but there is no provision for those with these specific difficulties with provision being allocated along the lines of those without disabilities and those with learning disabilities.
5. Training for all those involved in caring for children with autism and asperger syndrome including GP’s. However I would like to see training co-delivered by those on the spectrum, parents/carers and other professionals so that people get a much more rounded understanding of autism and aspergers and its impacts on family life.
6. Support groups. We have a support group in our town that is so big that it fails to support those who don’t like the atmosphere. It is also very structured and allows little opportunity to have an informal chat. The group is a great starting point for those dealing with a recent diagnosis but I’d like to see smaller groups that are more specific such as a ‘parents of girls with aspergers’ group. As I am experiencing, having a daughter with aspergers syndrome brings a very different set of challenges to the autism experienced by my son.
7. Recognition and respite for all carers. Care is perceived dismally in the UK. We need to raise the profile of all those involved in care whether it is care provided by relatives and friends or those in paid care work. Proper pay for all carers and decent respite services will help many thousands of people in this country, including me. Caring is an exhausting job no matter how loving and dedicated we are. We need time to be the people that we used to be.
This post is for Special Saturday, an online ‘global’ campaign that aims to raise awareness of children with special needs. Every Saturday a prompt is given to encourage people to write or tweet about something in order to help raise awareness of special needs. This week’s theme is on the things we say as special needs parents.
If you would like to learn more about Special Saturday then you can do so though the following ways:
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/SpecialSaturday
Twitter – follow @Specialsat and use the hashtag #specialsaturday
The Blog – http://specialsaturday.org/
Wendy at the Savette Gazette – http://www.savette.com/category/special-saturday/