Monthly Archives: March 2013

Autism…

Before I met Jay I had very little knowledge about Autism & how it effected people. However listening to Jay passionately talk to me about it & the work he does with Autistic Children at CASPA I have come to learn a lot about it.

Did you know that over half a million people in the UK alone suffer with Autism? Thats 1 person in every 100. If you include their families, Autism touches the lives of about 2 million people in the UK every day!

There are many different theories behind the causes of Autism but its generally classified as a neuro-developmental disorder. There are also many different types or severity of Autism. The most common and well known form of Autism that you have probably heard of is Asperger syndrome.

Autism affects the way a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them. Everyday life for people with autism can be confusing & frightening. They often find understanding and communicating with others particularly difficult, which can leave them feeling isolated. They can have difficulty recognizing and understanding people’s feelings and managing their own feelings. They may, for example, stand too close to another person, prefer to be alone, behave inappropriately and may not seek comfort from another person. This can make it hard for them to make friends.

While some people with autism can live independent lives, others may need a lifetime of specialist support. Autism can have a profound and sometimes devastating effect on individuals and families. But making sure they get the right support makes a positive difference to the person who is diagnosed and for their families.

Autism is not caused by a person’s upbringing and is not the fault of the individual with the condition. There is no known cure for autism. However, there are a range of learning and development techniques that people may find helpful.

This is where groups like CASPA come in. CASPA which stands for Children of the Autistic Spectrum Parents’ Association is a charity that works with children, young people & families affected by autism. They run social clubs, holiday activities, an independent living skills programme & provide support in many ways to the families of the children & young people. They are based in Bromley & currently work with around 100 children & young people every week.

They are passionate about providing inspirational activities such as sport, cooking, art etc, & opportunities for young people & children with high functioning autism to develop social, communication & independent living skills, gain confidence & increase their chances of full integration into society.

For the kids this is a great way to interact with other kids & make friends – something a lot of them may have never done before. For the families, this is great for them to get support, not just from the group but from other families in similar situations!

Jay & I have decided to do our 900 mile crazy bike ride in aid of CASPA! This will help to keep CASPA going but also to help them to provide the best care, facilities & resources possible.

You can also help support these kids too by giving a donation to our charity ride. Help support Jay & I on our bike ride but more importantly help support CASPA, so they can continue to help 100s of kids every week.

Click on the link below & follow the instructions, its will take a couple of minutes of your time but will help the kids for the rest of their lives!

Thank you :-)

www.justgiving.com/CASPA-ride

If you would like any more information on CASPA then please visit their website at:

www.caspabromley.org.uk

Christie :-)

 


Happy Mother’s Day :-)

Firstly I would like to say happy Mother’s Day not only to my lovely Mummy but to all the Yummy Mummys out there.. I hope everyone has had a great day!

Our training today has revolved around Mother’s Day. I had this great idea that we could cycle to my Mums house which is about 18 miles away, stop for a cuppa & then cycle back! That way we get our training in & I get to see Mum for a bit! Dad is also happy because he has a new bike.. & decided to meet us & ride around with us! Great!

This is our longest ride yet & is not without its own fresh set of problems!! Firstly though, I would like to reward myself for my steady cycling & my ability NOT to fall off.. Yayyyy :-) I am however getting re-occurring issues from when I did fall off!! My gears are broken :-( Stupid bike wont let me use the last 3 gears (the 3 gears which make hill climbing easier)  & keep jerking in & out of different gears the whole time!! This wouldnt be such an issue if Jay & I picked nice, flat routes.. but wheres the fun in that? One good things comes out of this.. its GREAT training for the legs!! We will soon be powerhouses when it comes to hills! Jay is very supportive & says, “If you cant use your last 3 gears then neither will I” How sweet!!! However Jay has got knee issues & although cycling helps his knee a lot by keeping the surrounding muscles strong without the impact, he soon feels the effects on his legs too!! This is where we are both very appreciative of ‘out the saddle’ riding.. phew our legs get a bit of a break!!!

Anyway.. gear, knee & leg issues aside, the first stretch of our cycle has gone well & after trudging our way up what felt like a zillion hills, we’ve finally made it to Mum & Dads! A nice sit down, a cuppa & a pasta pot sort us right out & we are now ready to battle our way back home! We are very aware that even though the way over felt hilly, its nothing compared to the way back! There are 2 big hills to tackle & lots of sloggy ones in between but we know as soon as we get to the top of the second hill its a nice, easy 4 miles home! Its FREEEEEEEZING!! In fact as soon as we set off it starts hailing & sleeting! We dont let it faze us.. Big hill no.1 has ensured we both stay warm (actually hot & sweaty) & the ride is going well! We get to the bottom of the 2nd big hill! We have just cycled up a long sloggy hill so we stop for a minute for a leg rest & drink.

Here we go… actually this isnt too bad… legs feel alright & were feeling strong! We are nearly at the top… I can see the peak… YES YES YES!!!! We made it to the top!!! 31 miles done! Lets quickly stop, rave about how amazing we are & carry on!! I’m in front & I feel amazing!!! Hold on.. wheres Jay…

Are you serious?!!!!! Hes got a damn puncture!! His 4th one since we got the bikes!! Ok no worries we can sort this (or Jay can anyway). Jays Mum & Dad happen to drive straight past & pull in to offer help! I now feel like I’m standing in the middle of the Antarctic.. Its Freezing!! I’m sweaty from the last big hill so now I’m damp & cold!! Jays the same but hes busy working, so I’m just standing around uncontrollably shivering! No idea how I’m gonna make my body get back on that bike & get me home! Our nice 4mile stretch home now seems like a long drag!!

But we did it!!! And everything aside, this has been a great ride!! We battled some monster hills, got up to speeds of about 30mph on some down hills, cycled a total of 35miles, practiced our road side repair (or Jay did) & had fun!!

Not feeling too bad now we have both warmed up! Bodies are tired but now we can slump :-) We Love cycling.. I think we have both found a real passion in it.. cant wait to get back on the bike & see what new challenges it brings us :-)

Thanks for reading guys.. If you fancy helping support us you can donate to the amazing charity we are doing this for, CASPA.. its real simple, just go to the link below & go from there..

www.justgiving.com/CASPA-ride

Live healthy, Live happy :-)