Summer 2014 HIBABS
A story by Dorothy McCormick, High Blantyre Autistic Base Supporters
Summer 2014 HIBABS provided 3 trips for 18 children who have severe and complex autism coupled with learning disabilities, for the children & carers.
What Summer 2014 HIBABS did
HiBabs was set up to support the children and their families that attend a autistic base in Blantyre. This was set up October 2012 to raise funds for much needed playground equipment for the kids that attended the base. While raising funds Hibabs realised we had a network of parents needing support and advice.
During monthly meetings it was apparent how stressed parents become on everyday outings, the stares, the comments from strangers thinking that the children had behaviour issues, when it was complex needs and social fears. Parents would retreat and avoid public outings when possible. The group soon established that ongoing support on special outings would be a way forward where parents could support one and other and in a group setting the days out were a great success.
HiBabs arranged three trips. Coach, entry and lunch for 18 families per trip. The outings took place during the summer holidays. The first trip was to Heads of Ayr, 2nd Blairdrummond Safari Park and third trip Edinburgh Zoo. Children and families where met by a coach at their Primary school and transported to each destination. It allowed parents to get to know one another and support one an other. Lunch was pre-ordered before each visit, minimising any upsets to the children, cutting waiting time and special diets catered for.
What Dorothy McCormick, High Blantyre Autistic Base Supporters has learned
Listening to carers and not being judgemental. Show understanding, we all have mountains to climb when dealing with issues with disabilities that impact the whole family.
Carers feel they have a more positive outlook since the group has started and the network of support between group members just grows. New parents of children who have recently started the special base have become deeply involved in supporting the group as they felt being included in the trips helped them bond with parents/carers in similar circumstances.