Registered Charity Number  1179383



Not Badminton, Tennis!

You are invited to play a game of badminton.  You buy the right footwear and clothes and a nice new shiny racket. 

You arrive at the court.  At first it seems just the same, there are lines on the floor and there is a net in the middle.  However, gradually you see that all is not how you imagined.  The net is too low and every now and then it rains.  You get ready to receive shuttlecocks from the other side, but they are really heavy and keep bouncing.  Over the net they come again and again. Sometimes you hit them back, but more often than not you get hit by them and soon you are getting covered in bruises, actual and emotional.  Many days pass with you in tears.

One day someone tells you that whilst you thought you were in an indoor badminton hall, actually you are on a tennis court.  Suddenly, it all makes sense, the shuttlecocks are tennis balls, the net isn't a badminton net and now you know why it's raining!  You go out and buy a tennis racket and a set of waterproofs.

 It doesn't stop the rain and sometimes you still get hit by stray balls, but the new racket is much more effective for hitting the balls back with.

Finally you realise that not only are you not alone on the tennis court, but also that the game can be great fun as well as hard work.

 Many parents do not know why their children are different until they receive an autistic spectrum diagnosis, at which point their child's behaviour starts to make sense.

Living with Autism

 Being a parent or carer of an autistic child can feel like being the player on the tennis court.  The way you expect your child to develop does not happen, or there are clear differences between your child and their peers.  You may feel that it is because you are not up to being a parent, or worry that your child appears to be different.

With a diagnosis, or at least a realisation that you may have an autistic child, things start to fall into place.  Autistic children need different strategies, both for themselves and for us as parents and carers.  It's a lot easier with knowledge about Autism because we can stop beating ourselves up over our parenting skills, or trying to follow the normal rules of parenting and getting a different outcome.

 A diagnosis won't make life perfect, but it helps to understand behaviour, get advice and access appropriate support.

 At ASC we are here to support each other through good times and bad, share information, discuss problems and have a giggle when we share the funny side of having a wonderful child who just happens to be on the Autistic Spectrum.    

Heather Eves

Autism  Support Crawley