Lorna felt like she was failing as a parent to her son Jack, who has autism spectrum disorder. You enabled her to see that she was anything but a “failure”, and now Jack’s future holds nothing but promise.
Say hello to five-year-old Jack. If you were to actually meet him, he would say hello right back. His mum Lorna describes him as “very, very friendly.”
But back when he was three, Lorna worried that Jack was falling behind with his communication. “Other children would be standing right next to him,” she says, “and he wouldn’t respond at all.
”There were other things about Jack that made Lorna concerned. He wasn’t sleeping, and he couldn’t sit still. He was extremely anxious about being in the dark and sticking to a routine.
“Jack had anxieties that most children didn’t have,” explains Lorna.
It was terrible to see her son living like this. But it all started to make sense when Jack was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
After the diagnosis, Lorna continued her full-time job. Because Jack needed constant support to manage all his anxieties, the pressure on Lorna started to build and build.
“I felt like I was failing as a parent,” she says. “I wasn’t as calm as I normally would be, which doesn’t help to parent a child with so much anxiety like Jack.”
You were the “best thing” that happened
Lorna isn’t alone in feeling like a failure. Parents of disabled children tell us they often feel guilty, or worry about being judged by other mums and dads who don’t have disabled children themselves.
That’s why it’s so important for parents like Lorna to get support from someone with lived experience of disability. And that’s exactly what she got, thanks to you.
Lorna reached out to Scope’s support service Navigate, which your gifts help fund. You enabled us to put her in touch with Bev, one of our advisers who had worked as a teacher of disabled children.
“Contacting Navigate was the best thing I’ve ever done,” says Lorna. “I immediately clicked with Bev. She was so kind and friendly. She gave me the confidence to see that I’m not a failure.”
It was thanks to you that Bev could provide this emotional support. You also enabled her to share practical strategies for Jack’s development, which she knew from her experience as a specialist teacher. She recommended keeping a calendar, for example, to prepare Jack for any changes in his routine.
“I can’t tell you the difference you’ve made”
Bev also enabled Lorna to focus on her own well-being, which meant that she was in a better place to support Jack. “It has made all the difference,” says Lorna. “I no longer feel like I’m torn in every direction.”
When a parent is feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, it can affect their ability to support their child. With Navigate, you’re enabling disabled children to have the best start in life. And Jack has already set his sights high – he wants to be a pilot when he grows up.
During this difficult time, disabled families are feeling more isolated and facing more challenges than ever. Thank you for supporting disabled children like Jack to reach for the sky!
Your support makes the world of difference
Bev, Lorna's Navigate Adviser, explains what it was like supporting Lorna and the difference she saw:
“When I first spoke to Lorna, she couldn’t see the good that she was already doing for Jack. Thanks to you, I enabled her to focus on the positive and build up the confidence to carry on. For parents like Lorna, your support provides a listening ear and a sounding board about the most important area of their life – their children.”