ImaWestie

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

Tag Archives: Val

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 Ning.com 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.

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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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