May 2024 Newsletter

Grown & Flown

A story of patience

I read this story on an Instagram account called Grown & Flown, and it presented to me as a story of deep patience and hope – reminding us that in time, our children most often will find their way:

“Once upon a time, this kid right here just stopped talking.

He hit the teen years so hard, he clammed up.

As a little boy he talked my ever-loving ear off. He had more questions than I could answer. He was a million-watt bulb that every creature and human wanted to be near.

He was pure sunshine.

Until he wasn’t.

As a teen, he struggled with mental health and isolated. He shut down and stopped talking. And storms rolled in under his skin.

I was powerless to stop it. So it is with moms who desperately want to fix life’s unfixable things and take away our kid’s pain.

I held on.

I missed my little boy with a force with that took the breath right out of my lungs.

I grieved.

I kept engaging with him, even when I would get one word answers.

I leaned in his doorway just so I could be near him. Even if we said nothing.

I would leave his favorite snack on his desk while he was gaming.

I reminded him that I was there, always, if he needed anything.

Then one day my not-so-sunshiney boy graduated and went off to college and a light switch flipped back on.

The clouds over his head rolled out and the sky in his eyes cleared.

He opened up to the world again.

And now this kid of mine, not so much a kid anymore, loves filling me in on all the things and asking my advice and making me laugh.

We have long conversations late into the night and when he needs me, however and whenever that is,

I am always there.

‘For most autistics existing in a world not built for them, anxiety is the baseline and constant background hum that their daily life has to play over”
– Fern Brady –

Reviewers say:

“Of course it’s funny – it’s Fern Brady – but this book is also deeply moving and eye-opening.” Adam Kay

‘It made me laugh out loud and broke my heart and made me weep… I hope absolutely everyone reads this, and it makes them kinder and more curious about the way we all live.” Daisy Buchanan

‘Witty, dry and gimlet-eyed, Strong Female Character is a necessary corrective. Brady offers a compelling, messy, highly resonant portrait of what masked Autism feels like.” Devon Price, author of Unmasking Autism

Fern Brady’s memoir includes getting her diagnosis for Autism twenty years after originally seeking a diagnosis for it. Published by Brazen, February 2023.

With thanks to Kate Shand for her talk on the benefits and possibilities of home-schooling/tutor connection

‘Kate set up her company Enjoy Education in 2006 with a mission to deliver transformational learning for every student.

Kate passionately believes in the power of bespoke, one-to-one education to transform lives. As a teenager, Kate herself hd to take three years out of her education due to illness, during which she received transformational tutoring support.’

Kate spoke to us about how Enjoy Education can create a whole bespoke education or just a particular tutor/mentor who can step in for a time to build confidence, establish another form of support, reignite an interest in a subject, help to find interest and areas of particular ability.

Enjoy Education support students and families from primary stage right through to young adulthood.

May Talk

Wednesday 15th May @ 6.30pm

MATT THOMAS, recovery coach

will talk to us about

Navigating the Triple Whammy: Insights from a Journey of Healing
(mental health, neurodiversity & addiction)

Matt is in recovery from OCD, ADHD and addiction. After a successful 20 year music industry career Matt has become a leading figure in mental health and addiction recovery treatment and advocacy. He was Co-Founder and Director of iCAAD, one of the word’s leading conferences on addiction and mental health; he is Chair of Music Support, a charity dedicated to advocating for transformative change within the music industry, providing specialist treatment and support to peers; he works as a Case Manager, managing recovery journeys and multi-disciplinary teams of practitioners to ensure the best care for clients; and he is a passionate Youth Advocate, drawing from his personal experience as a troubled adolescent to offer support and guidance to young people in school talks and also coaching sessions for students, staff and parents.

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