Why We Are Walking the Kiltwalk Wee Wander for PAS
We work with amazing families and young people and we are always so grateful of the continued support tey give to us at Perth Autism Support. With the Dundee Kiltwalk cancelled this year due to Covid-19, we have some families taking part in the virtual Kiltwalk this weekend, including Andrew and his mum and dad. We asked them to tall us a little bit about why walking for and raising money for PAS was important to them and hear's what they told us:
In short PAS is our safety blanket, our lifeline which means we can navigate life caring for, supporting and encouraging our autistic son. To be honest I can't remember life before PAS as they have been there for us just after Andrew’s diagnosis over 8 years ago. We must have been one of the first families to register, and despite the charity now supporting over 800 children we still get the same fantastic level of service that we did when they were just starting up. Hard to believe now but we really struggled to cope with Andrew to understand why he was behaving how he was and how to support him. Attending the training and parent groups led by PAS allowed us to learn more about autism and gain insight into how best to care for him and ourselves. Knowing there were other PAS families who had gone through or were going through the same challenges and emotions as us was incredibly reassuring. The other fantastic opportunity PAS gives us is somewhere our son can go to safely enjoy different activities. Taking Andrew to mainstream kids activities was really stressful and we basically gave up trying. However despite Andrew finding PAS activities challenging originally he soon learnt that PAS was a safe space and where he had fun. For a long time now he can’t wait to get to PAS to have fun and see his friends. He still struggles to communicate and express himself but when he diagnosed he was basically non verbal so could not say when he was struggling so he lashed out, screamed or went into meltdown. PAS gave him safe place to gain social skills and confidence in himself. For us as parents attending PAS activities gave us respite for short while to shop or catch our breath. It was, and continues to be, wonderful to know that our son is looked after by trained staff who genuinely care about him, know him, know what challenges him, know what he loves doing, and how best to support him.
Through PAS Andrew has learnt how to socialise, to venture into different environments without us there, gained strategies to deal with whatever comes his way. As he grew his skill set we gained confidence in what we could deal with, understand what he would still struggle with, what we could support him through and what was best avoided. It wasn’t an immediate overnight change and we still have challenging days but without PAS we would never have achieved and come as far as we have.
PAS has been there for us all along the way and we will need it’s support to help us transition Andrew through his teenage years. More importantly we want to ensure the PAS is there for those families who are just starting out on their journey with Autism and for those families who will need PAS’ help in the future. So please help us raise much needed funds for PAS by sponsoring us to complete our Wee Kiltwalk Wander.
If you would like to donate to Andrew's Wee Wander, you can do this via their fundraising page https://dundeekiltwalk2020.everydayhero.com/uk/morag?fbclid=IwAR2t1RrRHffOokJ-7Sd1pKCCVC8k8niiTyRm1jh_wk7gttD6ILevGxh
Good luck guys and thank you for your support!