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Gemma Adams

London Marathon

Challenge complete

Fundraising for this challenge has ended so we're no longer accepting donations. Thanks to everyone who supported this challenge.

Total raised so far £0.00

Target £0.00

Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00

Raised offline: £0.00

My story

[p]When Joseph was 15 months I had concerns he wasn't developing in line with other babies/toddlers his age. I had joined a birth group when pregnant with Joseph and every post about current developmental stages made me feel sad. My heart was telling me there was something wrong, yet my brain told me that Joseph had not read the manual and didn't know what he should be doing he was happy, was always smiling and was a pleasure to be around so I ignored that doubt I had.[/p][p]I soon got a job working at the Land Registry and I put Joseph into nursery. He still had little/no communication, was very sensory based and hated going. It broke my heart as they peeled him off me each day. He clearly struggled to cope and 3 months after starting was still very distressed to leave me. I was always told how well behaved he was, was very polite and loved numbers. He's always been a bit obsessive with numbers he could recognise numbers to 150 and beyond before he could walk. [/p][p]I suppose this is why many people have told me there's nothing wrong and why this process to seek answers is so isolating and difficult. Many parents attending ASD support groups will tell stories about how their child will mask all day at school/ nursery and break down at home. Many children "conform" and are compliant, we still await our diagnosis but are relieved when other parents recognise his behaviour and can offer advice because as parents we feel less alone and less isolated. [/p][p]Comments such as "How could he be autistic he talks, he's polite, well behaved, very intelligent etc" should warm my heart with pride but they in fact make me feel like I'm alone in this process. Little do people know that on arriving home he struggles, he spins things continuously, his speech can only be described as echolalic and "parroting" repeating the same words over and over as if he's stuck and as a parent it' distressing to see and realise that I cannot help him. [/p][p]He becomes distressed in crowded places if people brush past him or stand too close, he gets distressed by routine changing, his speech is consisted of learnt phrases he has little idea on how to use language to communicate which most likely adds to his anxiety and frustration. [/p][p]I wanted to start 2018 positively so decided to hand in my notice at Land Registry to be able to support Joseph with his many medical appointments and return to a career in education. Eventually I hope to specialise in special educational needs (SEN). [/p][p]I really worry for his future when in 2018 we have so much misinformation circulating. A parent should not have to feel like they are not listened to or not supported in trying to do the best for their child. The assessment must be easier and parents must be supported. It's been over a year since the health visitor and paediatrician first raised concerns about his development suggesting that he was on the autism spectrum and a year later progress has been slow. The parents should be fully involved in the diagnostic process and listened to when asking for support. The National Autistic Society aim to improve this process and offer excellent support to parents. [/p][p]*THE MARATHON*[/p][p]The words "NEVER AGAIN" were mentioned last year. I said I'd never do it again. My whole body ached. [/p][p]No I haven't forgotten that at mile 14 when I saw the fast runners approach mile 22 making it look "simple" I shed tears of despair that I had 12 more miles. I managed 4 miles of painful jogging until I started to cry again wanting so desperately to give up but knowing it was 8 miles until the best feeling of achievement. 6 miles... 4 miles... 2 miles that rhino up ahead is my next target 1 mile the crowds are roaring and for the first time I know it' possible. 0.2 miles to go time to push for a sprint finish. That feeling of achievement and knowing you did something amazing but NEVER AGAIN!! [/p][p]I spent 90% of that marathon feeling like I wouldn't finish, that my legs couldn't go further like I was running through treacle but those feelings of doubt and that struggle is how many people with ASD feel daily. [/p][p]This year I have more reason to push through the pain, the doubts, the anxiety and the fear of not completing because Joseph does so everyday. For Joseph a simple task such as a haircut, having his toenails cut, taking medicine etc is similar to running a marathon. [/p][p]For many children, young people and adults on the spectrum an everyday task can be a huge challenge. [/p][p]I'm doing this for everyone who has been diagnosed, is currently on the pathway for assessment and about to start assessment. It's a tough process and I hope that by raising awareness, raising money and making our voices heard more people will understand.[/p][p]The National Autistic Society are committed to a better future where everybody understands. [/p][p]Thankyou for reading, if you would like to get involved please drop me an email at gem.adams@live.co.uk [/p][p]----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------[/p][p]Take a look at Joseph's campaign video:[/p][p]Http://youtu.be/794gmcGdxAc [/p][p]Every day this boy gives me reason to be proud and to keep fighting. In my quest to motivate and inspire him I've found that Joseph is the one who inspires me to be the best I can be - the best mum, the best advocate, his biggest fan. [/p][p]Here's to you Joseph, the one who brightens every day with the most amazing, loving personality. Mummy's proud of everything you achieve sweetheart. Never ever change for anyone xxx[/p][p][br][/p][p][br][/p][p][br][/p]
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Supporters

May 29, 2018

Virgin Money Giving

Thanks for having fun with us at the Expo Fundraising Lounge. We hope you had a great marathon.

£5.00

May 29, 2018

Virgin Money Giving

Thanks for having fun with us at the Expo Fundraising Lounge. We hope you had a great marathon.

£5.00

May 10, 2018

Marshall

Oh what a great night. All together with online ticket sales the 80s v 90s Disco was not only a brilliant night but also raised over £500

£446.35

May 4, 2018

Ticket 73

80s 90s nightfund raiser

£5.00

Apr 29, 2018

HOMEBASE

Homebase are happy to support The National Autistic Society. Well done Gemma for completing The London Marathon in some very testing conditions. Happy we can take you over the other finishing time. Hope your charity evening goes OK and well supported.

£20.00

Apr 29, 2018

Auntie Denise

Two tickets please

£10.00

Apr 28, 2018

Neville Griffiths

Your Dad told me about your Marathon Run last night at darts. Well done Gemma.

£10.00 plus £2.50 Gift Aid

Apr 27, 2018

Simon White

Swapsy donation with Simon for his 24hr Darts Marathon.

£10.00 plus £2.50 Gift Aid

Apr 24, 2018

Two kind gentlemen in Torpoint Sainsburys

On over-hearing a conversation in Sainsburys that I had just run the marathon two gentlemen wanted to support the cause and each offered £5. Thankyou so much for the kind donations, it shows what a great community Torpoint is.

£10.00

Apr 23, 2018

Sue Ding

Superstar!!!!

£50.00 plus £12.50 Gift Aid