Julie Ellsmoor, Hoylake, Wirral UK – writes a witty, humorous and incredibly down to earth blog about her son John, 26 who has severe autism. Her blog ‘Close Encounters of the Autistic Kind‘ which she started writing in January 2013 has received worldwide recognition and is read in over 50 countries.
Julie shared with us that she has an extremely supportive family. Part 1 can be read here. She is still extremely close to John’s dad, they separated 16 years ago. Peter her partner, who sadly died of bone marrow cancer 2 years ago was also a great support.
Julie told us that Peter’s two sons, James and Adam love John to bits and that the feeling is mutual.
James is the same age as John and Adam is three years younger.
“They instinctively knew how to behave around John and didn’t invade his personal space; they waited for him to go to them in his own time. He loved them from the start and they have endless patience with him. He regards them as his brothers, although John’s pronunciation of ‘Brother’ caused a bit of a furore in school! and they regard him as their brother. Fiercely protective and always supportive, I know they will be there for him when I am no longer around.”
Julie happily told us that Adam has morphed into his dad and that he now too wants to give John whatever he asks for.
This is highlighted in Julie’s post about the search for a goat (Father, Son and Holy Goat)
Today John attends Wirral Autistic Society and has done so since he was 18. Autism Daily Newscast recently reported on the charity receiving a National Award which you can read here.
“I can say with absolute confidence that WAS changed John’s life and my family’s life for ever. Through their excellent care and support they gave our family a lifeline when we were overwhelmed with difficulties; but most importantly they gave us our son back when we feared we would lose him altogether to the anxieties that threatened to engulf him.”
“John also drives the small tractor and can operate the trailer to tip up, not always when it’s required to do so! This causes lots of laughter.”
Julie says that John has a full and enjoyable life in which he feels safe. He goes out of an evening with his support worker to all his favourite places including Liverpool’s Big Wheel.
Julie is hoping to publish a book based on her blogs and is hoping to find a publisher, although at the moment she says that this is a dream. She would love all profits to go to WAS Life Time Appeal.
Julie ends by saying:
“there is a poem often wrongly attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson, part of which says…..”To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”…..I try to live by this.”
We would like to thank Julie for taking the time to chat with us and we will leave you with her poem that she wrote for World Autism Awareness Day.
I need to help you to understand
not to stand and laugh and stare,
when you see me screaming
and pulling out my hair.
Don’t make nasty comments
if I jump and slap my head
don’t point or turn your back on me
smile at me instead.
My world is a scary place
I don’t see things as you do,
I may have hyper sensitive hearing
and fragmented vision too.
I need to clap and flap my hands
and rock and shout and spin,
it helps to keep me calm and safe
from the anxiety within.
I need compulsions and obsessions
of spinning twirly things,
of bridges, pylons, ferry boats
and anything that swings.
I need space and time and patience
support and loving care,
but the most important need of all
is that you are Autism Aware.