My nephew, Kyle, who is 15 and my niece, Destiny, who is 7, are autistic. Both were diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) when very young. Although they share the same diagnosis, they are on different parts of the spectrum.
This is often the case with people who are autistic - they may have very mild or very severe symptoms of the condition.
If looking at Kyle, you would see a handsome, brown haired boy, with no obvious signs of anything amiss. But Kyles form of ASD mean that he finds it really hard to process what can see to you and me like simple things, these include brushing his teeth, washing, getting dressed etc. He likes routine and gets very anxious when in unfamiliar circumstances. This causes him distress which leads to feelings of deeper anxiety, a vicious cycle.
Destiny - a beautiful, curly haired princess’ autism expresses itself in a different way. She is highly intelligent, again - like Kyle - has to have routine in her life in order to alleviate anxiousness, she does not like change and her life needs to be ordered.
From Kyles first day at pre-School, it was clear to his careers that he was not acting in the ‘normal’ way. After various tests, he was diagnosed. With Destiny, it was evident even earlier that she suffered with ASD too.
My sister Sharon, her fiancé Rob and big brother, Tyler - who is not autistic - are the most wonderful parental and sibling support to Kyle and Destiny. As you can imagine, their lives have been turned upside down and, many times, they find it very hard to do those family things that we all take for granted such as going out for a meal, on holiday, shopping. It can take its toll on a family.
Allsorts have been a heaven send to the family. This local charity organise day trips, youth clubs and holidays amongst many other things. Destiny and Kyle have experienced memorable days out with this charity and are able to socialise with other children living with autism or some other form of disability.
Not only do Allsorts provide a real sense of excitement and fun via these activites, but also the security that the children crave in order to fully enjoy the experience. They are a small charity and, in order to continue offering this support, they need support. I see first hand what an amazing charity they are and how they enhance the lives of people I love. This is why I am fundraising for them.
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