On a lighter note

Posted by Sarah on Nov 1, 2009 in Uncategorized |

I had a little bit of good news on Friday. For those of you who don’t know, Donna Williams is something of a celebrity in the field of autism. She is a world known author, having written several books about her life, one of which has been made into a movie. She is also a wonderful artist and musician and sings in a band called Donna Williams and the Aspinauts. The inspiring thing about Donna is that she is autistic herself.

I am on Donna’s mailing list. As I am trying to get some exposure for my blog I thought that I would be a bit cheeky and ask if she could possibly send a link to it to her vast mailing list recipients. I was very excited to get an email back from Donna saying that she would go one better, why didn’t we do an interview together and she would do audio of it on Skype and put it on her blog! I’m not terribly up on technology and don’t really understand what Skype is but Donna seems to be up with it all so I’ll leave that side of it to her! I’ll let you all know when it’s happening. And please, if you know others who you think may be interested, send a link to my blog out. The more traffic I get the more likely that I might actually make something out of this writing caper!

We’re had a lovely weekend. It was 30 degrees yesterday if not hotter, a bit of a stinker actually, we’re just not used to it yet. I took Bill and Bridie swimming while Paul took Beth horse riding. I’m not sure how much longer she’ll be doing it for because she always objects to going though she does seem to enjoy it while she’s there. We’re still to find what her passion is so we basically try anything! She did piano in grade 1 which she quite enjoyed but didn’t really get into, we may try that again now that she’s a bit older.

For a while earlier this year we tried karate. Bill does karate with a wonderful teacher called Terry. We started him doing it because he lacks a lot of self confidence. I thought it would be good for him to do a sport that wasn’t terribly competitive and that individual participation is what is needed. He has thrived and is the top of his class, he’s the only one who is being graded for his blue belt/yellow stripe so far so I’m very proud of him. His teacher is one of those who praises each child by name so that they know that he’s noticing all that they are doing and Bill just loves that. Terry is tough but also a very nice man. I liken him to the teacher in the Karate Kid but when he played Arnold on Happy Days!

After Bill had been doing it for a while I approached Terry about teaching some of the kids from our HAGS group. He was very keen so the next week there was about 4 or 5 kids along with parents. We did this straight after Bill’s class and the lovely thing was that Terry got Bill to help him teach the autistic kids with him which he loved. If somebody was to walk into the class without knowing what was going on I’m sure they would have wondered what the hell they had walked into! Paul would be there by then so either him or myself would pretty much be behind Beth trying to get her punches and kicks working the way Terry was telling them to. Most of the kids at one time or another would be pacing at various times, I couldn’t get Beth to stop looking at herself in the mirror and the whole time there’s Terry trying to teach them the art of karate! All of them had something sink in. Some did really well but the group got smaller and smaller and finally I had to concede that Beth really didn’t want to be there. Terry tried everything, keeping each move to 2 or 3 minutes, he even had everybody seeing how loud they could make the grunting noise because he knew how much Beth loved making the noise. Of course mum and dad had to make the noises too much to the amusement of kids and parents alike! Even the pizza that we get Thursdays really wasn’t enough of an enticement, Beth just really didn’t enjoy it.

The good thing that came out of it was that Richard and Liam who were both regulars have joined in the earlier class with Bill. They seem to be really enjoying it which is great. I had been feeling guilty about pulling Beth out because it was me that had organised the group in the first place, so the only other 2 regular members still being able to do karate was a terrific end result. And we are still on the elusive search for the thing that will be Beth’s passion, her calling if you like. I hope we find it soon!

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