Laudie (mother of 3 children, 1 with autism): We have, ah... a very extended family, and we do lots of family things together, and that, to Steve and I, is very, very important. And when Jonathon was diagnosed, we made a decision that whatever we were going to do we were going to include Jonathon. Jonathon could not handle, um, the noise around him, he didn’t like candles being lit up. Ah... he screamed for probably quite a few years, quite a few birthdays. Now he’s 15, and he just can’t wait for his birthday to come around, and he wants to blow those candles out and have fun with the family. And he just adores his cousins, he loves being around them, and he just wants to be a part of it all.
Jerry (mother of 2 children, 1 with autism): My mum really likes to help us. She’s come to my house for helping cooking for my son’s special diet.
Barbara (grandmother of 2 children with autism): Korrine has been checking and belonging to different autism groups and that. She can’t tell us everything that she’s learnt, so we went to one of these sessions, and ah... we were allowed to ask questions. And we got a lot of good information from that. The more we were able to help look after them and be around.
David (father of 2 children with autism): We were really lucky with our extended family in that they were very, um... accepting of our children. But it is very important to understand that your extended family aren’t really going to understand why your child does certain stuff, and to spend the time to take them through that and help them to understand.
Alison (mother of 3 children, 1 with autism): My own mother was fantastic. She was straight into research and everything like that.
David: You’re extended family is a really important part of your support network.