Meeting Autism Voice Gave Me Relief- Josanne James

By Autism Voice UK | December 17 2019

Meeting Autism Voice Gave Me Relief- Josanne James

Blog Category: Campaign update and General updateBlog Tags: Vulnerable Society, Children & Young People and Health & Wellbeing

  • Profile

    My name is Josanne James. I’m a mother to a son (Delano McDonald) who was diagnosed with autism at age 4. Delano’s autism is accompanied by learning disabilities and dyspraxia. Against the advice of others, he has always remained in mainstream schools. With a statement of special education needs, he’s had a one to one ta or Las.
    I really struggled when Delano left school because I did not have an advocate and I did not know what to do. Whenever I contacted International House (Brixton/Lambeth Sen) I got conflicting information. They obviously weren’t bothered. I kept calling around but nowhere or no one would help us. I found myself completely on my own. I was feeling overwhelmed and frustrated and stressed. I struggled on my own and became increasingly anxious about my son’s future. I was sleeping even less than usual having always suffered from insomnia.
    A few months ago, I was advised to visit the job centre to meet some people regarding support and advice about Delano. At this time, I was desperate and would have travelled to Timbuktu if I was promised any kind of help. Not knowing what to expect I went along.
    This was where I met the wonderful people from Autism Voice. At first, I was very anxious and cautious. I had become use to talking to people who had no clue about autism or what it is like to be a mom like me. I was usually judged and left to feel even more frustrated. I trusted no one. However, I soon realised that these ladies were not like that at all. I eventually relaxed, my back was not up against a wall, sweet relief at last. I finally found a place where I was understood and wasn’t judged. I laughed for the first time in a while. I talked about my son in a relaxed atmosphere.
    Since I met these beautiful women, I have had some relief. They were able to give me the support, advice and information I needed to make decisions to assist Delano.
    They keep in touch regularly; I go to meetings and meet other moms just like me. I am no longer alone or ashamed. I do not feel like a failure anymore nor do I feel like I’m letting my son down anymore. For me, I met people who knows exactly how I felt, and I was comfortable. I found some people who shared similar experiences and knows exactly how to navigate this journey.
    The support is phenomenal, and I do not know what would happen now if I hadn’t encountered Autism Voice when I did. Now my sleep is improving because I do not feel like I’m swimming in a rough dark ocean alone anymore. I still worry about my sons’ future, I’m still anxious but I’m not alone and now I’m sure I’ve got people who knows and understands. People who won’t judge or mock me or my son. People who offer support and quality services.
    Thank you for everything Mariama and the rest of the team from Autism Voice.

    About our Wellbeing Support Project
    Our wellbeing support include monthly support for wellbeing to autistic people, families and professionals, mentorship for adults on the autism spectrum and weekly one-to-one support for autistic people and families.
    If you wish to be part of this project, please call 07460399290 or email info@autismvoice.org.uk or autismvoice1@gmail.com.

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Autism Voice UK