Neurodiversity support group: Phili’s thoughts
“I attend this group because there’s nothing else I could find in the area that’s similar. I’ve been to three sessions so far and have found the group so helpful and welcoming.
“Here you get to speak to other people going through a similar situation and there’s so much knowledge that is passed on. One example is that some parents didn’t know about the respite breaks available, or even that free nappies could be accessed.
“I’m autistic and have always known I was different. I didn’t really fit in at school or social groups and when I was younger, I struggled with that.
“Now I’m much happier, but at times of course I still find things difficult. I’m lucky to have good people round me and an understanding employer, as I know many do not.
“Because of my experience it was easy to spot the signs with my son. He began showing autistic traits from around eight months old.
“We’re now going through the diagnosis process and then I know there’s more battles to come in making sure we get support in education and day to day life, where and when it may be needed.
“Overall there is not enough support or guidance for people out there. There’s no clear path or process to follow, so I want to help as many people as I can and I know so many others going through it feel the same way.
“Many people living with a neurodiverse condition, or parents feel lonely and isolated as they feel they’re unable to take part in activities. They lose friendships and miss out on things, it can feel like there’s no break.
“Of course this can have a massive impact on physical and mental health and there’s no shame in that.
“I’m a real advocate for coming together and talking about things and would really encourage anyone thinking about coming along to the group to do so.
“I also run a group on Facebook (North Lincs – support for parents/carers with additional needs children) so please feel free to join that.”