Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Run Rona Run

Regular readers (both of you) will quickly realise that the following is something I don’t do very often. While I admire people who can write about personal things in an engaging way, I’ve preferred instead to try and find interesting subjects that have a funny side which I can a) enhance or b) take the complete piss out of. Or preferably c) both! It’s fair to say that these have been in short supply lately so as you might have noticed, I’d rather write nothing at all than drone on about… whatever.

However, I wanted to share an email I received from my beautiful wee sister the other day, not only because it highlights an extremely worthy subject but is written in such a loving and compelling way that it made my heart burst with pride when I got to the end. If it moves you also, you’ll notice there’s some support you can give, but regardless, I hope you enjoy reading it and I’m glad I finally found something worth writing about.

Dear Family

As most of you will already know, our lovely little boy Tommy, was diagnosed with autism last year.

This means that he has great difficulties with:

  • social interaction, such as playing with other children;

  • communication, such as understanding what other people mean or talking meaningfully using his own words;

  • being flexible, such as tolerating changes to everyday routines

It also gives him considerable strengths. He has a fantastic memory for rote learning and scripts which usually lands him the lead role in the Christmas nativity! And he is great with computers, numbers, jigsaws and other such things which are visual, consistent and predictable.

When he is not frustrated or anxious, he can be the most adorably funny and affectionate little boy.

The National Autistic Society (NAS) has been a huge source of support to Al and myself since Tommy's diagnosis. In fact, we are currently taking part in a NAS 10 week course called Early Bird Plus, designed to help parents, and it is proving to be absolutely invaluable. The cost to us for doing this course is a mere £30, even though it costs the NAS thousands of pounds to run.

To give a little something back to the National Autistic Society, I have decided to run the London Marathon this year with all sponsorships and donations going to the NAS. I have pledged to raise £2,000.

Just a fraction of £2,000 can be put to good use:

  • The NAS autism helpline takes over 40,000 calls each year. Just £10 enables the NAS to provide an anxious caller with vital information, advice and support;

  • For just £260, the NAS can help a child with autism get the right education for their needs through the Advocacy for Education service;

  • For just £110, a volunteer befriender can be trained to offer friendship and support to someone with autism and their family.

Please support me in raising money for such a worthy charity. You can sponsor me online by visiting or you can send me a cheque made payable to The National Autistic Society.

Wishing you all a very happy 2008.

With love,

Rona "think differently about autism"


At 7/3/08 1:32 pm, Blogger Lesley said...

Yes, you're right that's definitely worth writing about. What a cheeky face - he's a really beautiful wee boy.

At 7/3/08 1:47 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'll sort you out with cash when I see you. You should get a hold of Charlotte Moore's book George and Sam, she's a journalist from The Guardian (i know, I know) it really is a fantastic read about living with autistic children, it's tremendously positive and she manages to find joy in difficult circumstances.


At 11/3/08 8:15 pm, Blogger Donald said...


I do like the Soapy a, b, c style, of course. But occassionally (sp), something that shows your human side is endearing.

Just don't get too personal or engaging - unless you're taking the piss.

Is Rona going to bust your balls for posting this . ( Sorry about the crudeness but I'm still watching "The Sopranos" , in a completely random order.

All the best to Rona - perhaps her oldest brother could join her " Run Soapy, I said Run!!"


At 12/3/08 9:43 am, Blogger Stuart said...

Great post. Very funny. Very amusing first paragraph. You should write more like that.

At 14/3/08 5:35 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post. We miss your witty musings this side of the Atlantic.


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