A recent article by an Autistic person highlights the lack of Autism related advice, information or support available to adults with Aspergers and High Functioning Autism. He concludes that he and many others like him are alone in their attempts to make sense of the world. This led me to consider how the families I have encountered also feel alone.
As a parent of a 24 year old with High Functioning Autism, I believe that my family have been lucky in that we have not been alone practically. We happened to live in an area where services existed. We did get a diagnosis (albeit quite late when my son was age 9); which set in action a chain of events. The diagnosis led to a statement of special educational needs, which resulted in placements in schools for moderate learning difficulties. The schools had specialist input for transition from school to college and then college to work. We were lucky also to be assigned a social worker and this alongside a supportive family meant that my son entered adulthood with the best possible chances.
This, unfortunately, is not a common story. At Prime Performance Solutions we hear time and time again of families who experience a different chain of events where they live in an area where services are limited and have therefore been dealing with very challenging situations; struggling alone without diagnosis, information, support or advice. We encounter parents and families who have been criticised and judged and have come to believe that nobody is able to help and nothing can be done for them. These families are often physically and emotionally exhausted.
Julie Inglis’ family, who have ADHD and Aspergers, struggled for years without diagnosis, understanding or appropriate support. This is why she established Prime Performance Solutions; so that people living with these conditions can attend courses that are interactive and highly practical and be part of a wider community who are dealing with similar issues to themselves. Those who attend learn how to be able to teach their children things they would otherwise not be able to do; such as social skills. Some people say they will never be able to do that, but this is not necessarily true. For some it is entirely possible. Also, those who attend the courses have the opportunity of having a support group because they meet people just like them.