Valuable support for those who are living with autism

Members of the autism support group with founder member Farrah Mackenzie (with flowers).
Members of the autism support group with founder member Farrah Mackenzie (with flowers).

A support group for parents and children living with autism in Angus enjoyed a family party at the Dunnichen Stone in Forfar on Sunday.

The breakfast event was tailored to meet the group’s needs and was one of the latest visits supported by local businesses in the area.

Last year we ran a story highlighting the support given to Forfar couple Judith Langlands-Scott and Wayne Gorman by the owners of Tiffins coffee shop in Forfar.

They wrote a thank you letter to Rohan and Sharmi Nandadadasa thanking them for the kindness and patience they and their staff had shown towards their autistic two-year son, Rhoan.

They explained their care helped the youngster with his social skills and also to build up his confidence.

Wayne explained that, since then, they have joined a local support group - Autism Support Angus and Dundee (ASAD) - and have been pro-active in the Forfar area organising events.

These have included visits to Guide Dogs at Orchardbank in Forfar; play sessions at leisure centres during holidays, a visit to the Riding for the Disabled at Inverarity and various other events solely for children with autism and their siblings. The latest was Sunday’s Breakfast with Santa at the Dunnichen Stone which was tailored for the group’s members.

Wayne said: “Autism Support Angus and Dundee (ASAD) is a voluntary group who endeavour to support parents and children living with autism. The group was set up by a parent in 2012 to provide online support in the DD postcode area.

“The group now has in the region of 440 members who benefit from forum support and events designed to allow the children to enjoy what would normally be quite difficult situations.

“A current core of five admin members organise the events and this year managed to host Christmas parties for the children, free of charge, to the attendees.

“Through these events, some children find social skills and friends that would not have been possible for them to do otherwise.

“They can also play without the judgement of others who misunderstand the condition.

“I have found this group is essential to the support for us, as parents, and have seen the positive effect it has on our son.

“It is a very friendly group with lots of knowledge and help available for everyday problems, where parents can share their worst fears and best dreams for their children.

“Within a short time of being on the group, I became one of the admin members and have organised lots of events for the Forfar area for these children and will continue to do so.”

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