Jess, from A Diary of a Mom blog, has written a fantastic post about respect and privacy. She encourages parents to seek support, but recommends that this be done privately (eg pm’s, emails, private meetups, therapists, journals etc), not publicly (eg Internet forums). Children sometimes later find what their parents wrote- which causes much hurt; they have a right to privacy; and Autistic people don’t want to be constantly hearing about how hard they make their loved ones’ lives. Some of the Autistic adults she quoted, recommended some good forums (and they are good- I’m on all three!) where parents could have questions posted anonymously, to be answered by Autistic people.
As the National Disability Insurance Scheme is rolling out in Australia over the next few years, Carers Australia has established a project to connect carers of people eligible for, but not enrolled in, NDIS, with carers of people who are already receiving supports from NDIS.
A few more local events are coming up in the Brisbane South/Ipswich area (apologies for the lateness in sharing these, we’ve had quite a bit going on!):
Sensory Movie Day– List of upcoming movies and dates, at multiple locations.
Browns Park A4 Flyer 2015– National Stress Down Day, free community event from Focal (Ipswich), with lots of activities, an NDIS info session etc.
NDIS Info sessions– ongoing, in multiple areas.
YFS also has NDIS info sessions available in multiple areas around Logan.
Parent Connect has funding to assist families with children aged 0-6 who are developmentally delayed or have a disability, or older children aged 6+ who have a newly acquired or identified disability. They can support a family for up to twelve months in many ways, including accessing an expedited private diagnosis, setting up some therapy options, linking to services and communities, learning about the child’s disability, and connecting with other families on a similar journey. Parent Connect in Brisbane/Ipswich is run by Mission Australia.
Baby Bridges is a free program for 0-5’s with disabilities and/or developmental delays, and their parents/carers. The standard program consists of two components: children’s play and specialised therapy sessions with qualified therapists; and parent information and training sessions. It is offered at several locations throughout Queensland, however, the location at Auchenflower (Developing Foundation) incorporates the Developing Childhood program and Funtastic Creations.
The Developing Childhood program designed by child development experts (which is available independently of Baby Bridges) is a fantastic opportunity for parents of children to track and enhance milestones from birth to a functional age of 3 – and there are 342 of them in the first three years of a child’s life! This detailed record-keeping is invaluable for parents who may be concerned about developmental delays, to track and to share with their paediatrician or therapists. In addition to charting milestones, the program offers a personalised program ofactivities to help stimulate and encourage your child towards their next milestones. The site offers a one month free trial (which I highly recommend checking out!), and the full cost of the program is $95 (total).
Mercy Community Services provide many different kinds of family and disability support. I particularly noticed the quality programs they offer at minimal cost or free- here are the programs they’re running from Goodna in terms 3 and 4:
123 Magic and Emotion Coaching flyer Term 3 2015 (Learn to manage big emotions and challenging behaviours in children 2-12 years old)
123 Magic and Emotion Coaching flyer Term 4 2015 (Learn to manage big emotions and challenging behaviours in children 2-12 years old)
Fun Friends Flyer Term 3 2015 (Building Resilience in 4-7 year olds through play)
Fun Friends Flyer Term 4 2015 (Building Resilience in 4-7 year olds through play)
Friends for Life Term 4 2015 (Help build resilience and prevent anxiety and depression in 7-12 year olds)
Engaging Adolescents Term 3 2015 (Learn to manage big emotions and challenging behaviours in adolescents)
CoSTermFour 2015 (Circle of Security parenting series)
Available to people who live within the Ipswich City Council geographical region (but still worth enquiring if you don’t!). For further information, contact the Family Matters Team at Mercy Community Services, Goodna on (07) 3280 8000.
At a recent expo I attended in Ipswich, one of the contacts I made was Gillian Fleming, who works at Carers Qld, looking after the Better Start families. I had a lovely long chat with her, and was amazed at her wealth of information and contacts! She invited me to friend her on Facebook– she uses her Facebook account only to share information about all things disabilities, and is happy to accept friend requests from anyone seeking such information.
One of the many great resources she shared with me is this list of useful links: Useful Websites for parents 2015.
I highly recommend connecting with Gillian, downloading the websites document – and for Queensland people, checking out Carers Qld.
What it means to “hold space” for people, plus eight tips on how to do it well, by Heather Plett. While this article actually has nothing to do with autism, the definition of holding space (being willing to walk alongside another person in whatever journey they’re on without judging them, making them feel inadequate, trying to fix them, or trying to impact the outcome; When we hold space for other people, we open our hearts, offer unconditional support, and let go of judgement and control) is something we all need, and can give.
MyTime groups – free support groups for parents of a child with a disability. They also have play helpers to engage with the children while the carers chat. Each group is different – some are quite social, others enjoy hearing from speakers etc – so it is worth checking out a few to find your best fit.
FSG (Qld) provides wonderful support to carers in several different ways – especially their Connections groups. Call them. Just do it.