The day after…

Wow. What a day.

As a result of the blog, I’ve had offers from all sorts of people to do all sorts of things.  Form a charity, put on galas, give me the proceeds of their lottery wins – if they happen – quite incredible.  I gained over 1,000 followers in 24 hours, the blog was viewed by over 15,000 people yesterday!  Twitter, you are amazing.  My eyes are stuck on wide-open, I still haven’t blinked.

The thing is, it was never an appeal for money.  I was just explaining to the concerned 10-15 or so tweeters why I was selling my house to pay for Ted’s school.  I had no idea it would take off like this.  Even @Glinner RTd it!  And while I’m absolutely bowled over by all your kind offers of money, I just can’t accept any of them.  It just wouldn’t be right, I’m sure you understand.

If, however, you really want to help other parents with special needs children, there is a brilliant organisation in Brighton called Amaze who have supported many of us in so many different ways.  They ran the course I went on, at no cost to me, to meet other parents in a similar position.  We carers can accompany our kids to the local cinema for free on their Compass card scheme. (Ted’s very proud of this, he likes to ‘treat’ me.)  They helped me fill in Ted’s Disability Living Allowance forms, I cried at least three times during this, they’re so complicated.  Here’s the link: http://www.amazebrighton.org.uk/ There’s a ‘Donate Now’ button on their home page.

I think it’s worth saying that I deliberately didn’t write the blog as an article for a newspaper, because I honestly thought I was only sharing it with a few twitters, I didn’t see it as a matter for the tabloids.  Unfortunately, some of them have picked it up and are apparently running their own version of my life tomorrow.  This may well be a mish-mash of inaccurate facts and irrelevant past activities; or it might be a well-researched piece which will be both informative and interesting… let’s wait and see.  I just hope it doesn’t annoy the school and put them off Ted before he’s even arrived.

Finally, dear twitter, if I could come round to each of your houses and personally thank you, I would.  I have never, ever, experienced such warmth and kindness and understanding, and – well, love.  As my friend @Geofortean would say, you’re the nicest friends I’ve never met.

And this isn’t the last you’ll hear from me either.  I’ll keep you posted and would love to hear from you too.  Really.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Lots of love,

Annabel xxx

PS Ted says “Hi”.  Cool customer.

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16 Comments on “The day after…”

  1. Petit Lowry says:

    Sometimes, things just speak to people. We didn’t see it as a plea for money and/or help. But, if an opportunity presents itself, why wouldn’t we try?

    I, personally, can offer no assistance other than my very best wishes, but I genuinely hope that if you get some good offers of help, you will consider them.

    Whitney once said “I believe the children are our future…” Ok, so I’m not being serious!

    Ted deserves the best shot in life, in the same way every kid does.

    All the very best. xx

  2. David says:

    The press hounds are out! Oh no, best not use your telephone or mobile now! Actually, scrub that……think of the compensation if they miss-report!

  3. Fiona Mcbeth says:

    I believe that the state seems to exhaust mothers and fails those children that must be alowed to reach their full capabilities and educating in a suitable environment. I found your first blog post very moving, and without being weird I went back and read something you wrote in 2008 on living with Ted. I have family with a bright clever austic boy, he is 8 and his local state school are doing ok at the moment, but I know of other exhasted parents who home school. I think selling your house is a great idea, I hope the equity secures some time, will be interested to know how it goes

  4. Paola says:

    Thank you for the link to Amaze. I have made a donation.

    realised from your original post that you weren’t asking for money. To be honest, I don’t really understand why you wouldn’t accept donations.

    Last year I had surgery and treatment for breast cancer (I’m fine now). I went from “I’m not gonna tell anyone” to blogging my experience. I accepted and asked for help from my friends; I’d previously found that uncomfortable.

    I dicovered that giving and receiving, when done sincerely, enriches all involved. It’s a win-win situation. Please reconsider us lettting us send you money.

    Paola

  5. Casdok says:

    Finding the right school and support is key for our children.
    And filling out DLA forms!

  6. Rick says:

    Hi Annabel – we met briefly many years ago (90s) when I was working for Artswork at TVS/Meridian.. your post triggered loads of thoughts not surprisingly. One of the amazing things is the dramatic potential between the internal world of Ted and the perceptions of the so-called ‘knowing’ world of the external observer. This dramatic potential has been brilliantly articulated in works of fiction like The Dog in the Night Time, and We have to talk about Kevin. And I’m not suggesting that you do the same, but you do have the same critical understanding about the world of Ted.
    There’s a charity about to be launched that I have been an adviser to about creativity and young people with complex needs or in difficult circumstances – http://www.protegetv.co.uk tells you more..
    and I wish you more luck than you can imagine
    Rick Hall

  7. Mrs. Bear says:

    Wishing you all the luck in the world. Thank you for the link to Amaze, and I look forward to more posts from you – your writing has obviously managed to touch many hundreds/thousands of people who want to help however they can.

    Emma x

  8. Damien says:

    Hi Annabel, to reiterate what others have said; your original post did not appear to be a plea for anything other than understanding and the chance to express your frustrations, challenges, and honesty.

    I sincerely hope that all works out for you and Ted. I will be reading your eloquent posts with interest and respect.

    Very best wishes, D

  9. brightonjock says:

    I found your first blog incredibly moving and funny too but I never interpreted it as a plea for dosh. However, like others have noted, if people with the wherewithal are happy to provide some assistance, I’d accept that in the spirit in which it’s offered.

    Keep blogging – you’re offering a terrific insight into a world most of us (fortunately) know nothing about. And good luck with the house sale – if you get stuck for somewhere to stay, we have a spare room :o)

  10. I saw the Daily Mail’s take on your blog, then made the mistake of reading the comments. That’s five minutes of my life utterly wasted.

    Keep on doing what’s best for family,

    Best wishes

    AC

  11. Hi Annabel,
    I hope the tabloids take the opportunity to highlight the issues faced by parents and carers of children with additional needs rather than focus on the negatives of your plight (I’m not criticising you, but we all know how the press can twist things) Ideally the press could start a national campaign to compel the powers that be to change things – funny how the government can find x millions of £ to send abroad and yet disabled children in the UK can’t get a wheelchair or an education!!
    best wishes
    Debbi
    x

  12. Beth says:

    Only a parent devoted as you will ever understand the differences a specialist education will make. As we know my own special boy himself went to Stanbridge Earls school and he has achieved way beyond the original expectations we had for him – all because this amazing school fosters our special children’s talents and unique gifts.

  13. Emma says:

    Good on you, Annabel. You seem like a very nice person and a devoted mum. Ted is lucky to have you. All the best with the tabloids, you’ll need your wits about you I’m sure…

  14. Rumpio says:

    I’ll pop the kettle on. When are you coming round? Will Mr Kipling’s Manor House Cake be ok?

  15. Mark says:

    Annabel,
    Its your friendly neighbourhood cop here again. Tonight was the first chance i’ve had to read your blog and just wanted to add my comments for what they are worth without patronizing platitudes. I am truly in awe of your obvious love and dedication to Ted in all aspects of his education and life. I get so angry and frustrated with a system that puts so many obstacles and red tape in our way when you are asking for nothing for yourself only the best for your boy. I wont even go into my thoughts on abscentee fathers. I just wanted to say that if there is any way I can offer practical help you only have to ask and not that you need any sort of assistance from the music world but if any benefits or events come up that require a band then me and my other band mates would be more than happy to come and play for you,Ted and your audience, gratis of course. Its a small gesture I know but if we can help the offer is there. Anyway, I am positive you will keep fighting the fight Annabel and will come through this. Good luck in the jungle.
    X

  16. Sara says:

    Annabel, you won’t remember me but we had our daughters at the same hospital on the same day and you were lovely to know for that short time. Read your news and the blog and wanted to send you lots of love and good luck with Ted. Take care. Sara x


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