Our small local charity in Ayrshire supports families and carers of children and young people with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
We aim to provide information and support to parents and carers by sharing our experiences and referring to other organisations that can help with specific problems.
We provide kids with play activities and events during Easter,Summer and October holidays. Our young person's coordinator and advocate organises all of our play activities.
The entire organisation is self-funded by fundraising throughout the year.
Events such as raffles, fun days and online events are among the many fundraising activities we organise.
The general running of the charity is by an elected management committee (all parents).
Often, guest speakers from health, education and other charities speak at our support group meetings.
Those with Autism, their family members or friends are welcome to attend.
We love celebrating our young people and all of their accomplishments.
We enjoy watching the kids shine in areas they wouldn't have attempted without SAAS.
A particularly emotional moment occurred at the first drama group party when a young man was so shy his mum was afraid to leave him, she did. When she returned to watch the show later, he was dressed as a superhero and delivered his lines perfectly. She was so overcome with emotion that it made all the hard work throughout the year worthwhile.
As a charity, we feel our services are essential to our members lives. The kids would not be able to attend events and experience the level of social interaction that other kids take for granted because a child with
ASD would not feel comfortable attending a youth club.
We allow parents to meet with like-minded adults who have encountered similar problems
without feeling judged at our meetings and events.
Due to COVID-19, we cancelled our in person meetings and play activities.
We have re-started our activities, and are working on getting our meetings back up and running.
During Covid-19, we offered support via online meetings instead of in person, which has allowed our parents to keep in touch during the lockdowns and maintain friendships.
Our young person's co-ordinator (Celine), through our Facebook page, provided daily craft and activities for our Cyber SAASy project. This ran from March 2020 until April 2021.
As most of our members were struggling with the change in routine, this was extremely helpful to them.
In addition to online meetups, Cyber SAASy also provided bingo nights and quiz nights for our families.
We delivered food parcels and activity packs to our members during the lockdowns, to enable families to participate in Cyber SAASy.
When restrictions changed, SAAS adapted and provided a1:1 service where the children could play games, colour, bake and socialise in a safe environment with people who knew how to support them.
As a result, our young people have become more used to seeing and socialising with others, which will enable them to participate in our activities once we re-start them.