The Life of Reilly audition

I forgot there was a teacher training day today.  I opened Reilly’s diary on Thursday to the words enjoy your long weekend, eh? what? NO I NEED him in school. I have been looking forward to this day for weeks.  

Today was audition day for the play The Life of Reilly.  A new character will join the cast playing the part of Reilly’s friend.  We decided immediately after the last show that we should be looking to cast actually autistic actors. It just makes sense, a no brainer.

After seeing Ellis out the door this morning on a trip to High Borrans I managed to get into Newcastle with seconds to spare while grandad Ken took Reilly on a bus trip to Whitley Bay (only 2 meltdowns but epic ones ūüė©).

The actors were asked to read Reilly’s initial monologue.  Not easy as he’s talking to a pretend therapist at the back of the auditorium.   They were awesome.  Obviously I can’t say too much as there are still people to audition but I was genuinely blown away.

There is some amazing talent out there, I’d be nervous as hell to walk out in front of strangers and perform, in fact I don’t think I could do it.  To see these people transform with booming voices, accents and gestures is outstanding.   Let’s not forget some autistic people often walk hand in hand with anxiety daily, this was no small task. 

I felt really proud today.  I loved listening to everyone’s stories about how and why they became interested in acting  and can see Alphabetically Autistic and Red Diamond Theatre working on some amazing projects in the future.  More opportunities for these amazing people xx

You can buy tickets for The Life of Reilly at Northern Stage. 21st September. 

Please come along and support this amazing production.  

Nearly 50k views

Just checked my stats and got such a shock that The Life of Reilly is the tiniest smidge off 50,ooo views. ¬†This makes me so happy. ¬†It’s hard sometimes to bare your soul and write some of your fears and feelings for the world to see. ¬†It is cathartic for me. ¬†Sometimes you got to write it because if you shout it quite frankly your going to make a scene and we do enough of that already.

I remember being absolutely terrified to press publish on the posts

Did she just say that?  and   I am jealous. There I said it. 

Would people think I am a shitty parent because of those posts? ¬†I am jealous was shared so many times on social media and I only saw one mother who wasn’t happy about it. ¬†I don’t remember where the comment even is now but it was along the lines of she wants to think herself lucky she has a child blah blah blah. ¬†NOBODY needs to tell me this. ¬†I am truly aware that others have it so much worse than me but the purpose of the blog is to inform people of our autism, the one we live and breathe. ¬†

I hope that I have raised an eyebrow or two with the blogs to date and I hope it has made people less judgmental of others.  Public acceptance that people are different is the answer.  Mind sets need to be changed children need to be educated not just in schools but at home too (not just with autism, pick a topic it still fits).  Different is ok.

I’ve been asked to make more videos, christ on a bike i’ve also been asked to write a book. ¬†What I would like to know is what do you like about The Life of Reilly? What would you like to see more or less of? ¬†Let me know x

Theatre of Education

There is a status currently doing the rounds on Facebook about teaching your children to be more understanding of those who are different.  This is the post:

I would just like to put this out there! If your kids are not around special needs kids at school and have never been taught that not everyone is the same then maybe you could take 10 min tonight to explain this to them because even though they may not be around these kids at school they will encounter them in their lives, as it should be.

In the light of recent events on the exclusion of a child who has autism from participating in a school trip and a child with Downs Syndrome being kicked out of dance class because she couldn’t keep up, I feel the need to share this. There are boys and girls that nobody invites to birthday parties. There are special kids who want to belong to a team but don’t get selected because it is more important to win than include these children. Children with special needs are not rare or strange, they only want what everyone else wants: to be accepted !!
For all the wonderful children out there.
Can I ask a question? Is there anyone willing to copy and paste this post to their wall without sharing it, like I did for those special children out there

Now I’m not one for copying and pasting statuses usually but this just encapsulates everything that we are trying to achieve with the Theatre of Education via Alphabetically Autistic. So go that one step further help us make it happen. ¬†I see numerous times everyday how heartbroken people are at videos and stories of children with special needs being bullied. ¬†Imagine being the parent of one of those children, we know the stats are way higher for it happening to our children and it makes me incredibly sad and fiercely protective.

Education as with everything in life is the key.

Putting Really Reilly on in schools or in theatre’s for public showing will really help children understand. ¬†I cannot stand to see these children being mocked and believe me I have witnessed it on too many occasions.

Please help get¬†Really Reilly to your child’s school and help us promote inclusion and acceptance for these kids, they deserve it. ¬†Email for more information and booking.

Use your voice to make us heard.  Share this brilliant initiative.


Not just the chicken that are legends

 Busy day for Reilly today means busy day for mammy but we’ve met some legends on the way.  

First there was the fabulous young lady working in Cramlington Sainsburys who kept my shopping while Reilly ran across filling up cups in the cafe and attempting to pour old ladies teas.  When I went back to thank her she said its ok I’m autistic too.  She was brilliant and we had a chat about how she’d had great support growing up and how well she was doing.

I then did a bus trip to Newcastle, fab bus driver on the X9 at 15.00 who knew Reilly – no sooner were we off we were back on another on the X8 at 15.30 in the next stand with an equally brill driver  ūüėā I needed some kwells by the time I got back to our stop.  No tuts from the queue either when he pushed straight to the front and up the stairs. Result. Bonus point was that I got to sit down for an hour in transit. 

Next stop was Annitsford McDonalds, now I spend more time in here than I like to admit.  Reilly is guaranteed to eat here  which is rare, sometimes he goes behind the counter as he’s obsessed with the McFlurry machine luckily we have a friend Rebecca that works there who is fab with him.  Today the Shift Manager came to my rescue, Ashleigh.  I was super flustered ordering his meal he was trying to spin the cookie cabinet and being generally impatient we know he doesn’t do queues.  I have to try keep one hand on him to stop him escaping or running into the kitchen as well as the usual stuff. 
Ashleigh gave Reilly a cookie and a toy to keep him occupied and told us to go sit down and she would bring over our stuff when it was ready.  Turns out Ashleigh has an autistic sister and knows exactly the kind of pressure you’re under just trying a simple trip to McDonald’s.  We chatted about awareness, how it was for autistic children years ago, Reillys blog and difficulties that parents face and it made me feel so much more relaxed for future visits.  

A bit of understanding goes a long way, things that you probably won’t give a second thought to and do naturally without the need for a back up plan, everyday things I mean have you ever been out with your ASD child without a wingman and needed the toilet. A child who is sensitive to sound, smell etc. No way never happening,  be like trying to shove my size 8 feet into a size 2 shoe getting them in the cubicle alone. Then there’s the keeping one foot on the door to stop escapes, (if it’s more than a leg stretch away you’re screwed) amid ear drum shattering screams.  It’s not the best. Understanding from staff make these visits so much easier. That’s part of the reason we set up Alphabetically Autistic we want to educate big business in how important it is to view autism through the Parent and Childs eyes. How they can make a difference. 

Finally we’ve been to the park en route home where I met a lovely couple with their autistic nephew, it’s so important to educate our NT kids while they are young to be accepting of autism and not be afraid of stimming or shrieking.  Just accept there are differences, they are all kids and all have the right to play without the stares. Top marks to Evie, Amber and Ellie for doing just that today. 

Right where’s my bed…..