As we see things starting to come together with Life of Reilly this is one of the things I’ve felt most passionate about from day one.

There is nothing my mam and dad won’t do  for my children and my nephews.  They have always babysat for them, had them over night, took them to Disneyland Paris and the likes.  Usual grandparent stuff that makes our lives as parents that bit easier.  So it’s hard for me to see them struggle with Reilly.  My dad certainly gets stuck in and has a go but there is no denying it is difficult.  My mam feels helpless that she’s actually afraid to take him out alone a) he does a runner most of the time and b) I struggle with his meltdowns at 43 never mind 70.

As much as they listen to me about autism I don’t think anyone really gets it unless you live it 24/7.  We as parents sometimes withhold things that happen within our four walls to save them from worry, stress with relationships, money, lack of sleep, depression, anxiety etc.  We bite our tongues regularly at advice given with the best intentions.  We are tired, anxious and sharp sometimes, most of the time to be honest which is often mistaken for ungrateful, antisocial and rude.

I want them to feel more able to understand Reilly.  To not take things personally, to understand how they can help.  Grandparents play a crucial role in keeping the unit functioning well.  Without those little breaks I get when my dad takes Reilly on a bus journey or to Mcdonalds I am honestly screwed.

They also need support and can find a diagnosis difficult.  I always find comfort with people who know what I am going or have been through and I think this session on autism and the chance to converse with others is essential.  It’s informal and it’s free!