Spalding area's Callum Brazzo: It's a new skill
Hello there! Callum Brazzo here, continuing to make Autistic Lincs.
Somehow we have reached the two year anniversary (autiversary) of Autistic Lincs.
It’s occurred to me that every anniversary we have will precede April, which to millions across the world won’t mean much, but for the autistic community, this is not just another month. It’s Autism Acceptance Month. Autism Awareness Day. Autism Awareness Week.
- Autistic Lincs: It's time to celebrate
- Autistic Lincs: Celebrating the second anniversary
- Man's Best Friend: Say hello to Bo!
People care about autistic people, hoorah!
My cynicism for the month is shared by many in the community because it seems that good intentions lead us to poorly executed ways of showing our support for autistic people.
It’s appropriate that as we reach the second year autiversary of Autistic Lincs, that Autistic Led, the adult support group run from Tonic Health in Spalding, has a new branch to its metaphorical tree.
The weekly woodwork group, which runs between 2-5pm, started last week with Andy Nicolson leading us in our first project; birdhouses.
We were shown how to slot various pieces of wood together without glue to get us familiar with the manual skill involved and understanding how it all fits together in a general sense.
We, or at least most of us, excluding myself, then repeated the wooden construction but glued the sides down to stabilize the nesting areas.
I tell you that most of us excluding myself because despite watching Andy every step of the way in the initial demonstration, I was completely flustered in a brain fog, totally unable in the space of about five – 10 minutes, to replicate what I had seen.
The new skill, the new yet established environment of The Willows at Tonic Health where Autistic Led started and the new faces in my life in one moment were all a little overwhelming.
Two years ago on March 11, a chance column called Autistic Lincs began, but on this particular Thursday, during the emerging woodwork group, it felt like the early roots of Autistic Led again except with more people on the periphery - exceptionally experienced people, but non-autistic as well, and it is a balance. I’ve yet to find, in terms of growing as a tribe, a support group, but maintaining autistic ownership.
I want the right people for the right jobs because any expanding group dynamic needs to manage that expansion effectively and it is no longer one man’s job (mine) to promote and facilitate a novel concept locally.
Autistic Led is also the sparsely recognized concept of autistic adults leading something themselves and I have always wanted the group to take ownership of what we do, and now I really feel able to ask for help. One man is not a community and although I feel like I’ve experienced a lot, learned a lot about my own autistic identity as well as the wider autistic community, I really want 2020 to keep us moving forward in a distinctly autistically led direction…but with a little extra gusto from those allies that are key to a truly unified community.
Community Mind Matters, a mental health group held on Tuesdays and Sundays at Ayscoughfee Hall and Gardens (with a Monday mental health talking bench) are continuing to do great things with a very special exhibition in November at the Geest Gallery in Ayscoughfee Hall.
And the David Snape Show has become the David and Christina Show. Bourne trailblazer David Snape now has a partner in crime and they commit themselves to bringing listeners to their show joy through music, discussion and more!
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