If you are a new member, hello and welcome to mASCot. If you are an existing member, hello and we hope you are well and that the whole Covid-19 isn't causing too many problems for you and your family.
We would like to keep you up to date with all that we are doing.
Last year started as a really positive year with lots of funding secured and lots of new clubs, courses and meet ups arranged and planned.
In March things started to look bleak as the Coronavirus took hold and we have been living in strange, unprecedented times ever since. This has affected all of our lives in a ways we've never experienced before.
Now here we are in 2021 and things are still upside down for us all, we now, more than ever have reason to stand together as a community. By sharing experiences and knowledge, we can support each other, having a kind ear and listening to one another is how we can keep each other strong and help each other cope.
If you are a new member we are so pleased you have decided to join mASCot, and we hope this Newsletter gives you a bit more of an insight to what we do in mASCot and how we support each other. If you're an existing members then this is a great recap to all we do and how we are running things during the pandemic.
We will be sending out updates and information via email on all the things we are doing and any new projects we are starting, so please add [email protected] to your contacts so our emails don't end up in your spam box.
You can find all our information here
As we have lots going on and it’s so easy to miss posts on our busy FaceBook group we have compiled all our projects info and valuable resources and links in one place on our mASCot website so that you have a one stop reference.
For our new members here is a brief introduction to mASCot and what we do.
mASCot is a C.I.C (a non-profit making Community Interest Company) and each member of our Board of Directors is a parent of an Autistic child or young adult, so we know how difficult it can be bringing up an Autistic child/children.
mASCot receives some funding which is put towards office admin and managing projects, however all our Directors and some of our parents give lots of their time on a voluntary basis to help run mASCot and run our amazing Groups & Clubs, whilst managing their own families.
So please always remember we are not a service, we are parents trying to support other parents and families as we all feel passionately about providing this support and the activities and projects for all our members to benefit from.
Over the years we have worked with many amazing organizations, charities and companies who have provided training, intervention, therapies and knowledge for our members. mASCot continually add to our database of resources to signpost parents to and for them to build up their own knowledge and strategies for their journey ahead.
But mostly mASCot is about celebrating our wonderful diverse children and families, raising the understanding of autism in our community so we can all be who we need to be.
As most of the venues we usually use are currently closed, we’ve transferred most of our projects and meet ups online wherever we can. We are working hard to prepare for a return to our real life meet ups and groups as soon as it is possible.
Jo and Mimi are brilliantly co-coordinating our Youth Projects to still keep the Girls Group, Sunday Club and Teen+ ticking over and planning meetings for the near future. Laura is hosting our Gaming Realm so our kids can try and meet up online when and where possible.
Becky, as always, is working hard behind the scenes taking all our issues back to the decision makers to make sure they get it right for our families.
Good work guys
Sam is still running virtual 1-1 sessions if you wish to know more about mASCot or to discuss anything that you might need support with or any issues you are having, we can look into how we can help you. If you would like to book a phone or Zoom meeting then just PM Sam to arrange a time and date.To find out more about our 1-1 sessions click here 1-1 Sessions
Mimi has launched some great projects that work well online during Lockdown - our amazing new OT project (workshops and courses for parents on Sensory Processing Issues), TAG (Totally Awesome Group for siblings support), Street Dance and Fitness for older kids. There are parents’ therapy support groups in the pipeline for the near future too. We will keep you updated on developments but if you have any questions or want to get involved then [email protected]
There is lots of useful information being posted every day, so we've made a web page to contain all information we feel our members may need. Visit Covid 19 Info page
In order to keep our busy mASCot FB Members Group clear for the job of supporting each other we have a number of subgroups based around specific topics or parent-led projects.
If you wish to join any of these groups please email or PM Sam Bayley [email protected] and she can join you up
Teen+ Club - This club is for teens and young adults. Supported social opportunities to build friendships and hang out with like minded young people with an accepting and non judgemental ethos. There are weekly meet ups during term time.
KAH - Kids at Home - for parents and kids who are struggling with attending school, school refusal, signed off, home educating. Sharing information about home ed activities, services, new alternative education projects; resources; offering mutual support and advice.
ADHD - sharing information, advice and support. Whether you suspect your child has or your child already has a diagnosis of ADHD there is a whole new area of support and information you need to learn. Here you can talk to many parents all at different stages of their journey.
PDA - sharing information, advice and support .Having a child with a PDA profile bring a whole new set of behaviours and learning the best strategies to deal with these behaviours really help. You will find a wealth of knowledge here.
EHCP - sharing information and advice. Whether requesting an statutory assessment or appealing the refusal of one, learn about good practice and the law around EHCPs. Many in this group will be able to guide and support you.
Specific Learning Difficulties - A place for members to discuss concerns, traits and strategies and offer support and advice around specific learning difficulties. As specific learning difficulties covers a broad range of traits.
mASCot Marketplace - If you have something to sell, swap, give away or you want something or need to to know where to get something, then this is the place.
Autistic Parent Carers Group - This group is for all our mASCot parent who are Autistic, in the process of diagnosis or just know they are on the spectrum.
This is a space for parents to discuss all things Autistic from their own lives to their children's, a place to support fellow Autistic mASCot members.
TQ+ - Is a subgroup for mASCot parent carers of children, young people and young adults who are trans, gender questioning, non binary, intersex.
A place to share discussion, questions and maybe some answers! But ultimately for some mutual support and understanding.
Dads Group - This group is for our Dads to link up and to also connect with the great Amaze Dads Group who regularly meet up and who have become a great source of support for one and other.
Culture Inc. - Is our subgroup for our black, brown and English as a second language families. It’s a place for different cultures and communities and to seek support and a place to embrace all our differences.
Girls Club - held at Portslade Village Centre, this club is for Autistic girls. Autism in girls often presents quite differently so we have created a specific group where girls can chat, bond and support each other over arts and creative activities.
Minecraft Club - This Club is for Minecraft fans to interact and make friendships in the mASCot Minecraft realm. Lego also available. All information and plans for this group are here.
Sunday Club - These session are for Autistic primary school aged children and their families to meet, build friendships, play and have fun. There are many activities planned and it's a great way for all our members to meet.
A final word......
mASCot is a parent led network of self support. The ethos of non-judgemental acceptance is paramount and maintaining our Facebook groups as safe, confidential spaces for parents and carers to be able to share honest thoughts, experiences, triumphs and difficulties is the first priority. We ask all members to sign up to a position of mutual trust, that views or opinions expressed by individuals on our private mASCot Facebook Groups are NOT EVER shared with people or professionals outside of mASCot.
We welcome ALL parent carers of autistic children and young people, this includes those who work in Local Authority services and education, with the understanding that although conflicts of interest occasionally arise, as a mASCot member we each share a duty to our community of fellow parent carers to put the integrity of the safe, confidential space first.
If professional roles feel compromised by any online posts or conversations then the practice is to step back from the conversation in question or to get in touch with mASCot FaceBook admin on [email protected] mascot.com if further action is required.