Well after weeks of hard work fundraising by the Beaver Inn and all its customers, and the children counting down the days, and hours, the day was finally here, we were off to Legoland!!
What an amazing day it was! The sun shone and the traffic was kind.
All the children were so amazing, and over came many challenges to enjoy the day, but armed with symbols and brilliant T.Shirts from Lazy Cow Printing they coped brilliantly!
One of the big hits of the day was definitely the coach, or more specifically driver Pete, Bovy Tours did a wonderful job kindly providing the coach for the trip, and Pete has made a lasting impression on the children, if he ever needs an extra job he could do a good trade babysitting! Already I have had requests for him to go round to play and one even wanted him to take us on another trip....to Vegas!
But on a serious note, there are so many people that helped make the day happen, firstly to the customers at The Beaver Inn who all donated there hard earned cash. Premier Foods for their support. Sharon Harris and her daughter for the lovely candy floss that the children enjoyed very much! Martin Riccard for feeding everyone, and to our photographer for the day Roberta at Red Hot Chilli.
and last but not least...too all the families and children at ASD Ashford who continue to inspire me everyday.
It's come to our attention, that today some of our members in Ashford have received letters from KCC withdrawing school transport. For those who have under 8's, within 2 miles of school or 3 miles for over 8's.
If this applys to you please get in touch in touch.
At the end of the month we are off to Centre Parcs for 4 days, fantastic, can't wait!
Except it already feels like a military operation, traveling with children's is eventful enough, add an ASD child into the mix and it becomes a tad more stressful!
So research needs to be done! Today I have downloaded and studied restaurant menus, so I know which ones will have food for him to eat. There's a lovely long list of things to do which can be pre booked, each needing careful thought as to whether there's anything he would happily do. A list of supplies for the lodge of all his usual favorites, god forbid they didn't have the right brand/colour/flavours!
Then there's the preparation for him, showing him pictures and videos and getting him used to the idea that we are going so as to avoid the anxiety of the unknown.
There will be some who read this thinking OTT, why bother? Because putting in the effort now means I will have a happy relaxed child when we get there and we can all enjoy ourselves, that's why!
So yesterday was our fundraising sponsored walk in the park with the children.
We all set off in beautiful sunshine from the fountain in Victoria Park, Ashford. A gentle stroll along to first play park. All the children had fun, we had some amazing climbers, as I looked around at happy children, it occurred to me for the first time ever the ASD kids were outnumbering the neuro-typical's!
We then moved off to the next park a bit further on for more fun, and then on to the fountain again.
It was as we were on the last bit, I was walking with 3 amazing boys (slightly biased one was my son!) these 3 boys had discovered a mutual love of Minecraft and the new Autcraft server especially for those on the spectrum. Now it is sad to say that I do know a bit about Minecraft as I do play with my son as I think it's important to share his world. So being able to join in as they exchanged usernames, and talked of Enderchests, and Diamond armour, scored me some serious cool mum points, they even offered to build me a house next to theirs!
But what thrilled me more was the fact they there were so completely happy, to have found friends who got it the same as they did, just being completely accepted.
After the walk all the families were invited back to the Beaver Inn who provided a BBQ, Candy Floss and bouncy castle, all for free for the families to enjoy. I can't say how much this meant to families. It was lovely to watch as everyone chatted and the children intereacted with one another each in their own way.
Yes the day raised some much appreciated funds, but, more than that it raised awareness, created acceptance, and formed friendships that will continue to grow.