Sometimes, it can be difficult for parents to know where to turn to get the support they need for their autistic child and their family. We spoke to Farah, a volunteer on our Parent to Parent service, to find out more about her and the support she gives through her work:
"My name is Farah and I am a passionate mother and wife. I really enjoy reading different books (I recently read Good Vibes, Good Life by Vex King and I recommend it) and exercising. I live in London with my husband and three children, two of whom have been diagnosed with autism.
Adam is ten and Dawud is three. It was really difficult to get a diagnosis for Adam, and it took several years. He was really quiet and didn’t like talking when we were out and about because he was in a new place. To get Adam used to different places, we would plan visits with him to reduce his anxiety.
As a mother, I knew Adam was a bit different. The information the National Autistic society website gave me was really helpful. It gave me confidence to seek support for him after years of struggling to get a diagnosis. Adam was diagnosed as ‘high-functioning autistic’. I knew from what I had read that Adam was autistic but hearing that from professionals was still unsettling. I was both upset and happy, as I didn’t know what this would mean for Adam, but he could also get the support he needed.
It was much easier with Dawud. He was showing autistic traits, and he was assessed and diagnosed within a year. He was diagnosed with ‘moderate to severe’ autism and moderate global developmental delay. Having autistic children can be challenging sometimes but my children also bring me so much joy and happiness.
The National Autistic Society has given me so much support from information about anything that covers autism to support near and around the area. The best thing about our Parent to Parent service is that you can speak to parents who have experienced what you are going through. Speaking to them, I knew I wasn’t on my own and there are several people in the same situation.
I now volunteer for the Parent to Parent service, which gives me the opportunity to support parents, like other parents supported me. I want them to feel that they’re not alone, and to use my own experiences to help others."
To find out more about our Parent to Parent service, staffed by volunteers like Farah, please visit our Parent to Parent page here.