Hi, my name is Jenna & I'm mum to my beautiful 6 year daughter Trinity. Trinity is my only child & basically it's always been just me & Trinity. I didn't have Trinity until I was 35 & apart from being a massive shock to the system, Trinity has brought meaning to my life. She is a happy little girl & I'm extremely proud of her.
Trinity & me spent the first 13 months of her life living in a women's refuge, not the best start in life but we had no choice & now we have our own home & we are safe & happy. When Trinity was 10 months old I started to notice something was different about her, she wasn't progressing as she should be & never really cried, at the time I had no real understanding of autism etc, I didnt really understand what was wrong, to me Trinity is perfect in eveyway but I knew that she was behind in her mental development compered to other children around the same age, she didn't interact with others & just liked to be left alone. Moving from city to city, not having any friends or family to support me or being able to put down solid roots it was hard to get appointments with any professionals, however when we finally got our house in Sheffield & trinity started nursery it was kind before she was diagnosed with autisum, learning difficulties and social & communication difficulties.
The day it was confirmed Trinity was autistic I will never forget, to hear those words confirming she is autistic broke me, the room felt harsh grey & cold & I knew I couldn't put a plaster on it to make it all better, mums make you better don't they? Hot milk & hugs in bed wasnt going to fix her head, I didn't know if I could be what Trinity needed me to be, if I could support her in the ways she needed me to & I was so overwhelmed, I had know choice but to get on with bringing a autistic child on my own with absolutely no support at all & if I'm honest it's not been that bad actually & I wouldn't change at thing. IV had to learned so much, try & stay 1 step ahead of Trinity & I coped because I'm all Trinity as got & Trinity is all over got.
Trinity currently attends mainstream school with the assistance provided by SEN. Her school day is very varied to accommodate her needs, if she is having a good day or a bad day, incorporating sensory breaks and 1:1/small-group-learning, amongst other things.
As is common with autism, loud noises, crowded places and sharp contrasting colours (or all of the above: think a simple trip on the bus into the town centre....) can trigger unpredictable and adverse reactions.
Reactions that are fairly easily diffused in a home/school environment but suddenly very scary to both child and parent in a busy, crowded, outdoors environment.
Some of this anxiety is just a
natural parental response, a lot of it is to do with Trinity's lack of road
Without having any real concept of danger from cars, strangers and the wide world in general or having a coherent sense of consequence, a simple trip becomes either a long, drawn out, stressful and more often than not, unsuccessful and demoralising.
*QUOTE* "...when I was first told she was autistic, I felt so helpless. Knowing I couldn't give her medicine or put a plaster on it, nothing I do will ever fix her..." (Jenna Hare, Mother).
To be dealt that hand, feel like you aren’t able to fix the one thing you're meant to protect must be heart breaking, on top of which is the feeling of an inability to help your child enjoy what should be simple trips out to shops, park, cinema, etc.
Jenna was working part time as an LSA in a local secondary School until recently.
Unfortunately, the choice was work(preferable) but extreme financial hardship, or give up work and live within government means.
This is an end to weekend excursions, holidays and a final end to hopes of a support dog for her daughter.
After spending countless hours trawling charities and websites, her head spinning with countless details and the rest of the day’s to-do list, she accepted that the two main ADUK (assistance dogs UK - https://supportdogs.org.uk/our-work/autism-assista...organisations have suspended grant applications due to high demand.
People are able to purchase/train the dogs themselves from the charities at their own expense, this is not viable for a lot of people as dependents usually require more time and financial investment, ironically being one of the reasons making the service financially harder to access.
Resigned to not being able to afford one outright herself and no support network to speak of, she'd unofficially accepted defeat. The information is out there but when your day is already full with the routine of running a household and looking after a 6 yr old, it can soon get a bit much.
Add to that, its also Jenn LPa's first real experience of Autism, its easy to see why she, along with many others just get lost, confused and give up.
On behalf of Jenna and Trinity, I'm asking you consider donating to this cause to raise the funds for an autistic support dog. This is something Jenna has been agonising over, trying to make financial sense of and tentatively daring to dream about for over a year.
This is something that as a family and individuals, both of them deserve. The ability to exert some form of control of a condition and its symptoms that are still new to both of them, to achieve a slither of normality and be able to engage as mother and daughter, friends and a family.
On behalf of Jenna & Trinity,
Thanks for taking the
time to read
thank you in advance
for your donations!