"The West Norfolk NAS supported me after both of my children were diagnosed as autistic"
A mum of two has spoken about how the NAS has supported her after both of her children were diagnosed with autism.
Sarah Bussey, of Lynn said:“When my son, Oliver was diagnosed with autism at age 22 months, the shock was unbelievable.
“I spent many months not knowing where to turn. I had no experience or understanding of autism.”
Ms Bussey soon sought the help of the NAS, who provided her with support for her son’s unique needs.
She said:”Thankfully I found the West Norfolk Branch of the National Autistic Society. I found other parents who had been where I was. I found advice and support and most of all I found a community.”
Two years later Sarah found out that her daughter Grace, then aged five was also autistic.
Ms Bussey said:”Having a support network in place through the NAS meant that the second diagnosis was manageable. I didn’t feel so lost and alone.
“We are now 10 years down the line from that first diagnosis. Both children attend complex needs schools. They are now 13 and 11.
“Both my children struggle with things on a daily basis. Any tiny change of routine can cause a huge problem.
“They both have sensory processing difficulties, which means that lots of places are not accessible for us.
“We spend endless hours battling to get them access to the services they need. Being an autistic person in a neurotypical world is very challenging for them.
“I can honestly say that I don’t know how I would have coped over these years without the support of our local NAS branch.
“We have no family nearby, so have no one to turn to when things get tough.
“I truly believe I have made friends for life through this charity. From a supportive coffee morning, to activities for the children and most importantly emotional support when things get tough.
“The committee tirelessly campaign for autism acceptance.
“They endlessly try to generate money for the charity so that families like mine get the support they need.
“I am incredibly thankful to them for all they do.”
n Our charity of the year NAS West Norfolk Branch is autism charity is a local branch run by four unpaid volunteers.
They support over 400 families (around 1200 people), whose lives are affected by autism in West Norfolk - from the North West Norfolk coast, to Wisbech borders and into mid Norfolk.
They provide activities such as swimming , soft play , skating , gymnastics, trampolining and many more for our members which helps to reduce social isolation.