After the last couple of months being ill I am suddenly realising that Easter is here and I have fallen behind on many things!
It has not been an entirely idle period as I have managed to wade through the foggy brain and have started looking into the possibility of making travel opportunities available for children and adults with ASD.
As some may know, I put out a survey not too long a go asking specific questions to understand views towards travel in the autism community.
I am pleased to say that 100% of respondents agreed that this type of opportunity should be available for those on the spectrum. I also received a lot of helpful feed back on what type of journeys people would consider, an insight into support needs and people’s general availability. Thank you to everyone who responded.
I also received lots of feed back raising concerns about needs being met and flexibility to meet those needs, as well as direct responses saying ‘not my child’ or ‘not for me’. Again, thank you to everyone who took the time to respond and discuss further towards helping me understand.
All in all though, it was a positive exercise and I have reflected on how to move forward with the idea and have decided the following:
- To move ahead slowly – yes I would like to pursue this concept, however, to start with small adventures in the UK for level 1 and 2 ASD initially before making opportunities available for level 3 ASD (please see note (i) below). If you are a parent/carer or an adult with ASD and you are interested, please use the contact form in the menu above and let me know.
- To raise awareness for the benefits of travel within the autism community whilst at the same time for me to gain a better understanding of how best this service can meet needs.
- I will pursue grants and funding applications in the medium term, however, I want to start putting greater focus on fundraising and PR this year. Any help in this would be greatly appreciated!
- Again in the medium term, I will look into setting up a subscription quarterly specifically on the subject of adventure, travel and overcoming challenges with disabilities as well as the carers who support these inspiring feats. The current title for this quarterly is ‘The Big Challenge’. If you have a story of overcoming challenges with a disability, I would love to hear from you.
- ‘The Book’ on our adventure through Africa will obviously play into all of this. I am chipping away at it, however, I still haven’t successfully pulled apart the 3 stories (Sofia, myself and the motorbike) to make a single narrative that is readable. As I have also mentioned about a year ago, there is a second book that will be a Fantasy abstract of Sofia’s journey which both Sofia and I are working on, but remains a lower priority and will be many years in the making (it will be really good though!)
In the long-term, I have big ideas for AWA and what we can do for people with ASD but first one has to learn to walk before they can run!
Thank you for your continued support.
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(i) Levels one, two and three is a needs based system to determine the support needs of the individual where levels are clearly defined and we can use this as a guide in understanding needs and capabilities. People may be more familiar with high, medium and low functioning as descriptors of ability level and therefore support needs.