World Autism Awareness Day 2013

People and organisations around the world will come together today (2nd April) to raise awareness of autism, with events and activities continuing throughout the month.

Autism is much more common than many people think, with over half a million people in the UK having the condition. If you include their families, autism touches the lives of over two million people every day.
(Information taken from The National Autistic Society)

In Shropshire Autism West Midlands are celebrating World Autism Awareness Month on Friday 5th April. The event will be taking place at St Barnabas Community Church Centre in Shrewsbury (SY3 7DN) from 10am-2pm. Entrance is free for children and £1 for adults. There will be toys, games, arts and crafts, information stands, sensory taster experiences and much more. There will also be a photographer to take children’s portraits and an autism friendly hairdresser – additional charges will apply.

Autism West Midlands LogoFor further information contact Emma Hegenbarth on 07989 682701 or email emmah@autismwestmidlands.org.uk.

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Sibling Groups in Shropshire…

Sibs logo Sibs is the UK charity for people who grow up with a disabled brother or sister. They support siblings who are growing up with or who have grown up with a brother or sister with any disability, long term chronic illness, or life limiting condition. There are over half a million young siblings and over a million adult siblings in the UK.

Sibs aim is to enhance the lives of siblings by providing them with information and support, and by influencing service provision for siblings throughout the UK. Sibs long term vision is that each local authority in the UK will have a dedicated sibling service, providing sibling groups and one to one support for children who are siblings.

For further information about the UK charity Sibs please visit their website by clicking here.

Shropshire Council is one local authority that is providing monthly Sibling Groups for children.

There are currently 3 Sibling Groups running in Shropshire for 8-12 year old children who have a brother or sister with a disability or additional need. These groups run in Bridgnorth, Oswestry and Shrewsbury.

A new group is being set up for 7-11 year olds in the South West area of Shropshire and is likely to run in Craven Arms or Ludlow.

Below are some quotes from parents whose children attend the Shropshire Sibling Groups:

“X attended her first meeting very nervously and discovered that she wasn’t the only young person struggling or having the same family background as herself!”

“Sibs simply allows X a couple of hours a month for her to simply be X and I can’t tell you how valuable that is to us all.”

“X looks forward to each and every meeting of the sibling group and always comes home full of excitement, eyes shining, talking non stop about all the fun things she has done.”

“X looks forward to going and being with other children he can relate to. He is more patient and understanding (now) – I think knowing he’s not the only child going through what he is helps.”

“X is more patient and less embarrassed about her brother.”

“It is the best thing to have happened in supporting our family. X really enjoys her time there and looks forward to each session.”

For further information about the Shropshire Sibling Groups please contact the Disabled Children’s Team on 01743 250225 or take a look at the webpage by clicking here.

Shrewsbury Sibling Group getting ready to do some abseiling!

Shrewsbury Sibling Group getting ready to do some abseiling!