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Supporting Autism Awareness Month

THE A-Z OF FAMILY LIFE WITH AUTISM ACCEPT Other people may consider your child being diagnosed with autism as bad, tragic, sad or just unlucky. That is their choice – YOU DON’T HAVE TO. Your child’s diagnosis is going to change your life. It is going to challenge your personal resources - mentally, physically and financially. It is going to challenge your relationships, with friends, family members, your other children and your spouse. You cannot change the diagnosis, but you do have complete power over how you accept it, react to it and face the challenges ahead. “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” ~Charles Swindoll

CREATE GOALS When everything seems to have fallen apart, the most powerful thing to realise is you still have options and choices and then decide what you want and go for it. Go with your instincts, assert yourself and gather people around you who will support you. Choose your friends wisely – you need people who are happy, positive, inspiring and energetic, to join you on this amazing journey. FOCUS ON EVERYTHING GREAT IN YOUR LIFE Never focus on everything you think your life lacks. Give all your energy and excitement to things that are going right. You may have a wonderful relationship, a great home, a job that you love. You may have your health and hobbies that help you relax. Other people may not recognise all the beauty and joy in your life because they just see the challenges you face, but you must see all the great things in your life in glorious technicolour. Focus on all the beautiful things that your child can do and then you will have the joy in your heart and the energy to help them tackle the things they find challenging in a happy, fun way.

There are few things in life that are impossible and we always have a choice. Don’t live in the shadows, looking out at what could have been. Instead, shine a light on what is working and allow it to grow. LOOK AFTER YOU Do three things for yourself each day to nurture your mind, your body and your soul. You may read or learn a new skill for your mind; perhaps you could go for a walk or dance round the kitchen for your body; listen to beautiful music or laugh with friends for your soul. The choices are completely yours!!! Choose things that you really love to do and take care of you. DON’T GIVE UP Live in the now. View yourself as other positive people view you. Recognise what you are doing well, instead of dwelling on what you wish you did better. The life you are living is enriching your life – so go for it and give it all you have got! “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain”, Anon