Anyone - mother, father, sister, brother, grandparent, aunt, uncle or simple friend of a child at Queensmill or in a Queensmill Unit or supported by Queensmill Outreach is a Friend of Queensmill.
There is no judgment, no criticism, only support and advice. Parenting or helping to parent any child with autism is very hard,
and we all sympathise.
We will not judge you.
We will try to help.
The Friends of Queensmill does 5 things:
It is a support network and arranges for parents to meet each other and exchange ideas and experiences. Maybe you come every time and chat or maybe you come once or twice and find out some contact details for others Iike you.
Second, we try to arrange talks on useful subjects. For example, OT, respite and benefits. Please tell Fiona any ideas of useful talks and I will try to put up answers to our letters and notes from talks on the website.
Thirdly, the Friends raises money for the school.
Anyway we can!.
2 years ago one Dad cycled over the mountains.
3 years ago we sold teatowels.
The money is spent on things like the Christmas parties and if we have a surplus we buy things like the big big trampoline, or the outdoor gym equipment. The staff always have a wish list, so if you can do anything to raise money, please talk to school staff or Fiona.
The fourth thing is more recent. We campaigned for Queensmill to become a school for children aged 3 -19, and we won.
Now we are campaigning for better services for children with autism, especially respite which we hope can be specifically for our children. And we hope to have some respite without having to go through social services.
Finally, we try to educate people about autism.
In 2011, the first Queensmill School lecture hosted Prof Roy Richard Gringer, author of ‘Unstrange Minds: A father remaps the world of autism’ to talk about his work.
In 2012, we had workshops on behaviour by Bo Hejlskov Elven, author of ‘No fighting, no biting, no screaming: how to make behaving positively possible for people with autism’ on positive techniques for managing behaviours, particularly violent behaviours.
The video of Richard Grinker's talk and the slides from Bo's talk are on the website.
In 2013 we hope to host Prof. Ami Klin, who works at Emory University School of Medicine in the US, who works on finding new avenues for early autism diagnosis.
The Friends needs volunteers– to set up one meeting, make tea, write letters to the council about issues that affect us, run the marathon to raise money... We would welcome anyone who wants to help and with more people we could do more things.