29th March – 4th April 2021 is World Autism Awareness Week. To mark the week I am resharing a blog post I put together last year … it’s a decent list of SEND sessions offered by the big London museums, galleries and attractions. Obviously nothing has been able to run this year due to Covid and lockdowns, but make sure you are aware of what is usually offered and keep an eye out for upcoming dates… (with fingers crossed!)
We have a six year old son with autism. He has always been different – the usual story – and was diagnosed with ASD age 5 and ADHD age 6 – along with other diagnoses. Parenting an autistic child can be a lonely journey at times; your child is the one who doesn’t have friends, doesn’t get invited to parties and doesn’t have playdates. We do, however, get invited to attend the school trips to look after our kid! 😉 We have experienced some serious hostility from other parents too- we’ve had parents turn their back on us and encourage their child to ignore my son… thankfully, E is pretty oblivious to all this at the moment but it’s tough, and its painful for us to watch at times.
Being autistic can mean that it is difficult (or impossible) to access the things that neurotypical people take for granted. These SEND sessions are a godsend as it means that E is not excluded from these experiences and that the environment is adapted to make it accessible. Have a look at A Parent’s Guide to Autism-Friendly Museums, Cinema and Theatre in London for some inspiration, follow the places on their social media channels and sign up to their newsletter to be in the know about upcoming SEND sessions.
Do comment and let me know about any other SEND sessions you have attended at London attractions… all top tips and life hacks more than welcome!