Raising little Westies, and life as parent of a special needs son

Tag Archives: Kate

Season that was

Here we are in August and the mighty St Clair Crows under 10s have one round left. Since commencing our involvement with the Junior AFL, this has been our most arms-length season to date.
About this time last year, I was all but announced as a coach for 2012, when it beck clear that something unusual was going in at work. So it turned out that this year, whole Bec took on the task of getting kids to training mid week, I pretty much took on game-day and to no small extent, laundering of the guernseys (although that has been shared with Bec or the kids to some extent).

Football this year has been a massive undertaking. And that is without getting along to any pro games at all in the inaugural season of the GWS.

But it has been hugely worth it.

The kids football team has been a social link to the community I take myself away from, yet my wife and kids live in day in, day out. I have started to form a few fantastic friendships there, with the ring-in watergirl being at the top of the list.

They have managed to throw us Westies in a spin a few times, with their confused rosters, and giving me jobs to do when I should be spending every single moment watching and interacting with my little BTB Fan. But it’s been great and I’ll probably miss it.

About three weeks after I catch up on my sleep in weekends!








Goodbye Autism United. Hello Autism United.

Today is the end of a bit of an era.
Way back in January 2010, in circumstances I no longer really recall, I ended up making my way online to a freshly created community. Incredible that it is so recent, I felt like it started way before that.

A wonderful woman, Nicole, had reached out and finding nothing suitable – started a community.

Which with no shortage of effort on her behalf, came to be found over the next few years by over 250 people, who came looking – and found – support as their child, spouse, sibling, friend or other relative, moved through being suspected, assessed and diagnosed (or not!) as being on the Autism spectrum.

Thank you to Nicole. The people you bought together have been so much help to my wife, my daughter, both my sons, and myself, as we went through the daunting journey from pre diagnosis, through diagnosis and placement in an appropriate school for my youngest son Bob the Builder Fan.

Somewhere in there, one of us managed to write a book. No, not me (I wish!) but Valerie Foley. Yes, it’s fantastic.

Now, two and a half years later, so many of us have moved on from what bought us together. There are more children, some of those children have gone on to start school. Some other life changing events have happened for others including packing up and moving to a whole other country.

I feel blessed to have been part of such a positive Internet family. I seriously don’t recall any discussion getting negative even when some of those discussions have involved quite diverse opinion and fundamental philosophy about life, raising children, autism, and the greater universe or “religion”.

Thank you Nicole. I hope our new home continues to be as positive as the previous home.

Another great excuse for shin-ding!

Most my regulars already know about the fantastic web group that Nicole English kicked off over at the Autism United Ning community. Over the long weekend we celebrated not just Queen Elizabeth’s birthday, but also a certain Bogan Princess¬† (complete with sash presentation). Happy Big For OH!

For the second time, a whole bunch of people who usually only meet each other on-line met at Club B, bringing along a whole bunch of citizens of the spectrum. This time, the weather kept everyone indoors… which did bring about a few concerns but they were pretty minor really! Far fewer trains than last time, but they still made an appearance. It was also nice to see another bloke, not just Westie & Brian. Maybe next time at Club B there’ll be another one… or two… no pressure!

It was a fantastic evening, and a fantastic opportunity to catch up with everyone shortly after the first confirmed “in the wild” sighting of Valerie Foley’s The Autism Experience in an actual book-shop. Budding author that she is, quite a few signed copies were presented, and there was a lot of discussion of how well travelled, dog-eared, and tabbed for future continuing reference each persons copy had already become.

Oh and to the management of Club B, it seems you’re definitely in the sweet spot for the Sydney chapter of Autism United (we need t-shirts, or bag patches or something). On behalf of all the Westies, I hope you open the club to us again and again…

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