Monday, 1 April 2013

Following in footsteps of Monks!

Having a child with Autism combined with Home education opens up new opportunities.Tomorrow is Autism Awareness day and we are taking part in a balloon release to celebrate. In a way Autism takes over our lives but then perhaps it is because it IS part of our lives .In many ways we are the richer because of it.

My daughter and I are taking part in a 23 mile sponsored walk for the National Autistic society on 11th May. We have seen some beautiful sights as we have travelled round the Furness peninsula. Today we walked in the footsteps of the Cistercian Monks along the Cistercian Way Dalton in Furness,, the former Capital of Furness ,with its castle and church to Furness Priory and on to a little bridge called Bow Bridge over which the monks used to access one of the Abbeys water mills.

During our training we walk and talk and we learn so much. Today we were only walking a short section of the 33 mile walk which starts at Grange over sands through Cartmel to Ulverston, Dalton then Barrow.

On a beautiful day like today it was easy to imagine  the monks sitting on the river bank fishing  for their tea or walking over the medieval bridge to the watermill! Even though Barrow has become industrialised over the years the walk through the valley from the foot of St Mary's church in Dalton to Furness abbey was idyllic.

I often wish that I could share times like this with my Autistic son but for now that's not an option.He gets too anxious and the risks of it being too busy particularly on a busy bank holiday Monday are too great. He prefers to stay at home! I have learned to respect that and not 'push'. If I listen to how he is feeling he is much more likely to go out when we really need to besides he was recovering from his socialisation from yesterday - it takes some doing.

For now I'm enjoying my time with my daughter.Children grow up so fast and I want her to look back on the childhood she had with fondness, despite the difficulties she faced through having a disabled brother - and  a twin at that! Despite sometimes feeling guilty that she has had to take a back seat as they have been growing up, she is growing up into a mature young woman with a great deal of empathy and I'm so proud of her.

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