Monday, September 29, 2014

More than meets the eye

If you met my husband, Dave, or my grandson, Tate, you’d think they were sunny, friendly, charming and articulate people. (As they are.) I doubt you’d realise they had Asperger syndrome. They look you straight in the eye. They have a firm handshake. They don’t have any odd little tics. Asperger syndrome can be a hidden disorder: the media and popular culture often misrepresent it.
Tate is 10.
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He loves swimming, archaeology, jokes, astronomy, collecting coins, Minecraft and reading the Beano. He is very bright and has no problem with schoolwork, but he is ultra-sensitive to noise, touch and smells, and he does not instinctively understand the social world and how to behave in it. This sounds like a trivial problem, but it’s not. Amongst other things it can lead to bullying, friendlessness, loneliness, isolation, anxiety and depression. It makes living an ordinary life without stress and distress – which most kids do without thinking – a skill that has to be mastered, just like swimming. We hope Tate will have got the hang of it by the time he is 30.
Tate goes to an Asperger childrens’ club, run by ACCT. He loves the club and has spontaneously decided he’d like to raise money for it. He aims to swim half a mile and he needs sponsors. Will you be one?  Even a £2 donation would help. Here is Tate’s Just Giving page where you can make a direct donation. Please support him.
Thank you.

2016: Tate did his swim and raised £665.30 and many of you helped - thank you very much.

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