How we help
HAFS is an established voluntary support group run by families, supporting families in Halton affected by Autism. HAFS offers a relaxed friendly and supportive environment where the whole family is catered for as we understand how Autism affects the whole family.
Families are supported through a wide range of services that cover information, advice, guidance, signposting to other services, advocacy/representation, short breaks, respite, relaxation therapies, regular meetings, leisure and recreational trips and outings.
If you need support and want to join a growing and effective group, please call the office on 01928 711412 for further details.
Judging Without Knowing – A Day in the Life of a Parent with an Autistic Child
A simple trip to the supermarket for most parents is a basic walk up and down aisles, picking out what meals they want to feed their family for the rest of the week. With or without a child, it is an essential part of everyday life to put food on the table. For other parents, it’s a different story. Their naughty child screeches in the car park, another lashes out as they try to get a trolley, one boy rolls around on the floor with his fingers in his ears and a girl hits and bites herself while her mum is paying at the tills. For these autistic children, it is the only way to express themselves. For their parents, it can be a daily battle.
Others who see this kind of behaviour can be quick to judge parent of autistic children, expecting them to get a grip of the situation, assuming “they’re bad parents”.
Autism is a sensory condition with almost no signs of physical disability. If you’ve met someone with autism, you’ll never meet another the same. Each person that’s affected is unique, therefore it’s called a spectrum condition. The spectrum consists of:
Put yourself in the shoes of a parent with an autistic child. Isolating yourself from the ‘outside world’ is easy because due to fear that you will be judged. You have no idea how your child or young adult will react or cope on any given day. When you’re busy responding to the needs of your child, it can affect your own life. You avoid socialising with friends and family, and forget about your own wellbeing. This ripple effect can then filter its way through a family, resulting in more people being affected. It can break up families, providing less support and in these crisis situations, many have struggled through life trying to get a diagnosis, provision of care and plenty of parents give up.
Here at HAFS, we have over 18 years’ experience in supporting families affected by Autism. We have tailored our services to actively improve their lives. By doing this, we aim to relive stress, isolation, depression and anxiety, not just for the children but for the whole family.
“I have gained tremendous strength from the support network of other carers linked to HAFS, and this has brought additional quality and purpose to my life.”S Green