Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Night to Remember...



The end of September is closing in fast and I haven't given the blog as much attention this month as I should have as have been preoccupied with arrangements for school, games such as "Hunt the SENO" and "Pin the reports on the DOES"... There was also the run up last minute arrangements for the first "Facebook Autie Parent Night Away" that was held last Saturday night in a Temple Bar hotel where almost 50 parents managed the difficult feat of arranging childcare and spending the night in the very good company of other parents who understand our kiddies needs. I blogged here about the importance of having friend who "get it" and was delighted to meet so many of the friends I have made online last Saturday.

It was an incredible experience to talk to so many who share a common bond. Our stories and experiences may differ but over dinner, and late into the evening, there was laughter and smiles while we exchanged stories and gave and received advice from all there. As one mother posted up on Facebook the next day, it was liberating to laugh about and talk about things as diverse as "poos in the swimming pool" and other such quirky things our kids get up to :) There is already talk of another get together before Christmas and I for one can't wait!

The other effect a night away had on my life is that my family have a greater understanding of Munchkins needs now. My mother and father had her overnight, and where they may not have really seen the communication deficit very clearly before, they now can be added to my list of people who "get it". You don't realise how much you fill in for your child and translate their body language etc until you are not there and the communication breaks down. I am so grateful for having family that are supportive both physically and emotionally, but even more so now that they have a greater appreciation of what my little girls difficulties are. It saddens me greatly that there are so many girls I talk to online that lack this type of support as may be living a distance from their families. We have all found each other to watch our backs and give support to one another but how many others are out there with no lifeline to cling to when times get tough? If you know someone in your community that may need help, reach out and let them know they are not alone. You may not be able to offer physical support but emotional support is equally (if not more) important.


13 comments:

tazzy said...

Hi Petunia
It was a great night, wasn't it? Such a diverse bunch of people, brought together by shared experience. I often say that between autism and adoption I have met some of the nicest and most interesting people I know! You guys make the road we're on so much easier!

Anonymous said...

Great blog as usual Petunia, it was a fantastic night and great to share people's experiences of having a child with autism. I agree that if you know someone in the community that is having a hard time and not knowing where to go after diagnosis it is so important to give this person your support and help to ease the road that they are about to travel on. I was lucky that I already had a friend who travels on the same road as I do and without her help and unwaivering support it would have been a very daunting journey indeed.


Andra xxx

elena said...

Very inspiring blog! Thank you for sharing. The internet is so amazing for bringing people together to find support, and i hope that more parents can find each other and connect, and lend a helping hand to others who are still finding their way. I look forward to more posts from you. : )

Anonymous said...

great blog petunia,
im lucky to have parents who "get it", but it can be so hard with other people who either think he should be locked up or im making it all up. thats y all u girls come in handy :-)
had an absolute ball last sat, was so good just to dress up and meet so many fantastic women.
cant wait for the next one.
claire h
xxx

katy said...

you summed it up very nicely and hit the nail on the head.Fab blog and fab night Katy

bredamccloskey@hotmail.com said...

fab blog as usual. Didnt make saturday night but cant wait for the next night will be there with bells on

Jean said...

i missed last sat too (boohoo!!!!)..but our community is as vital to me as oxygen. It's interesting that you had to be physically absent to make other people truly understand the difficulties our kids experience...i feel like an interpreter most of the time, but that probably only prevents most people appreciating the problem our kids face. Food for thought.
Cool post missus XXX

Tulippy said...

Yay Petunia, you have a real ability to say things so well, thanks everyone for sat. It is so good to know that people 'get it' because it is so hard to explain. It was a lovely night and made even better by being the first i hope of many

lisadom said...

Too true Petunia. And I am delighted to hear your parents get it. The denial of such support isn't always about physical distance; my in-laws are only a few miles up the road, but not much use. I am lucky to have found a network of angels in our journeys, who paid for what they do, but who are worth their weight in gold.

Lovely to read about our night again. Well done Mrs for taking the initiative and making it happen. xx

Clive said...

Sounds like it was a wonderful evening.

Not easy getting people to understand sometimes - especially those closest to us!

SCrosbie said...

I totally agree that taking a break away for one night not only gives mum or dad or both a well earned break but also it gives our immediate family a taste of how it really is caring for our kids with special needs that its only by spending time with my own son that my own family understand and fully appreciate what I'm talking about every day or how every min of every day is spent on constant look out never letting up or taking my eyes of my little monkey. I want to thank all those special people I meet on Saturday night it has given me such a lift and to know I'm part of a support network that being honest I could not live without Never underestimate the power of internet communication. I would be lost without it x

jazzygal said...

Well said Petunia. It was a great night...lots of laughs and chatting....and not feeling so alone. It takes a while for family members to get it, if they ever do and I'm so glad your parents totally get it now. Whilst they're already so supportive they'll now be more understanding of how Munchkins difficulties impact on daily life.

Here's to our next night away!! xx Jazzy

Casdok said...

Sounds like you all had a wonderful time :)

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