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Yvonne’s story

Yvonne shares how being part of the Kids Camden Special Parents Forum has helped her come out of depression.

How I joined the Parent Carers Forum

My story begins in November 2019 when I was preparing for my child’s formal education, and looking for some information about SEND in primary schools. I heard of Kids Camden Special Parents Forum (SPF) before from an Early Birds Programme I participated in. I wish I had reached out to them earlier. My child was diagnosed with autism when he was 3, and since then I tried my best to learn how to help his development. It was not easy, and I felt very lonely.

I was so depressed that I had to see psychologist for help. The online consultation wasn’t useful. I sent the forum private messages on Facebook, and got replies from Maria and Rachel from Kids. Then I started to join the coffee mornings to meet other parents who have children with special needs. That was the turning point in my life. I mean – it saved my life.

How Kids has helped

For the first time, I could be so open about my son’s situation and I heard people sharing many similar experiences. I should have said that my husband refused to accept that our child is autistic, and he is still in denial. He does not want people to know, so it was a secret I kept for more than a year. Kids SPF has opened a window for me and allowed me to breathe.

I attended Yoga and Lunch and also Walk and Talk regularly as part of the SPF. The newsletters offered lots of information that I did not know about, such as webinars, workshops, cycle for all abilities (Peddle Power), free relaxed mornings at museums, autism friendly cinema, just to name a few. Both are great social networking and supportive activities.

This is my remedy. I came out of the depression thanks to the lovely people I met through the forum.

During the lockdown, the coffee mornings were via zoom meeting. For a while, walk and talk became talk online. I am happy to see some familiar faces, and talked about how we coped, or not be able to cope. I appreciate that I am heard and I am happy to listen to others. The coffee mornings keep on upgrading. Sometimes there are experts who joined the zoom meetings, and now it even turned parents to be the experts!

I am sad that I have to move to Scotland soon, but I will keep in touch.

Parents Yvonne, Maria and Rachel are standing together with their arms around each other.

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