Thank you.

Hello!  It’s been a while since I posted anything here, but now that it’s September and backtoschool, lots of people have been asking about Ted and his education, so I thought I’d let you know what happened over the summer.

The response to the blog was totally amazing, over 23,000 hits to date!  Unfortunately the Daily Mail and their online readers chose it as a reason to redefine the word ‘vicious’; the Daily Express devoted a whole page to my life and where I’d gone wrong, in their not-so-humble opinion; even a Daily Telegraph reader accused me of ‘jumping on the autism bandwagon.’  And it’s a bit odd to be driving your car, on the school run, listening to a breakfast radio show discussing your life as a phone-in (“Would you sell your house for your child’s education?  Call us NOW!”) but without exception, the tweets and emails I received were absolutely fantastic.  Even though our world is coming across a bit shit at the moment, please believe that there are some really amazing people out there.

One in particular.  A couple of days after the blog, I received an email from someone I’ve never met.  Nothing new there, except they were offering to pay for a year’s school fees for Ted.  I KNOW.  A year.  The whole lot.  For a year. Just in case you’ve forgotten, that’s £31,000.  For my Ted, who they don’t even know.  Safe for three terms.  Just because they are kind, really kind, really really kind.  And they can, and they wanted to.

Well.  As I had already turned down twitter’s lovely offers of a justgiving page and comedy benefits etc, I said no to this too.  It was – well, too much.  I couldn’t take it.  I burst into tears.  But they insisted.  “Think of what’s best for Ted” they said.  I rang a very wise person. “Take it.”  So I stopped crying, and thanked them instead.

(I won’t be divulging who this is, because they wish to remain anonymous.  That’s the very least I can do.)

I still can’t believe it.  I still haven’t found the right words to say the kind of ‘thank you’ I feel.  I have no idea how to behave towards this sort of kindness and generosity, I didn’t know it existed.  A simple ‘thank you’ is not enough, but it has to be, for now.  Thank you.

So he’s off on Tuesday.  To the school of our dreams.  He can’t wait, I’m dreading it, but of course I’m excited too.  It’ll be a new life for both of us.  I’ll keep you posted, if that’s OK.  I honestly want to thank all of you, everyone’s been so supportive and helpful and just lovely.  I just want to run round to each of your houses and hug you all personally.  I’m sounding like a beauty queen now, so I’ll shut up.

One thing, before I go.  When I first spoke to this wonderful person, they said “I just want you to know that the world can be like this.”  I often read about people in far worse circumstances than us, and I’m sure you know many others in horrible situations too.  Please pass on our story to them, because they should know that the world can be like this too.

Thank you.

(PS If you’d like to thank them too, please leave a comment here.  I’ll make sure they see it.)


34 Comments on “Thank you.”

  1. Wombat37 says:

    Thanks for giving me a huge smile after a rough day 😀

    It IS good to know that the world can be like this.

  2. Damien says:

    Dear Annabel and Ted! Good luck at your new school. I look forward to reading all about it. Very best wishes to you both. And to the gracious and kind person who helped this to happen… Thank you for shining your light where you could. X

  3. Jo says:

    Dear Annabel & Ted, just wanted to say I am so glad Ted is going to get the education that he and every child with autism deserves. I’m a TA in a primary school and I see how difficult it is for many autistic children to cope in mainstream education. I just don’t understand the brutal attitude of the British press. If you were an anonymous, “ordinary” mother they’d be organising campaigns to get Ted to the right school. But because you had a media career suddenly you are not worthy of good press. This wouldn’t happen in the States. Whoever your benefactor is I would also like to give them a hug. There are not enough of these lovely, selfless people about. This person has lit up a sad world world and helped one very deserving child. Whoever you are, thank you from me. Good luck to Ted. I hope you don’t miss each other too much. Love from a Mum. xx

  4. To the mystery benefactor:

    It’s very easy to say, “I would, if…”. It’s also easy – if you’ve got it – to say, “Look what I did, everyone”. One rarely hears of someone who does something good and doesn’t shout about it.

    Whoever you are, you are magnificent, I hope life brings (and is bringing you) everything you wish for and I, for one, am raising a glass to you right now.

  5. loftspace says:

    Wow! What a wonderful world and generous person x

  6. Roger Bliss says:

    Indeed, the world can be like this and often in small ways too. I’m not sure when an act of kindness became percived as a threat or a sign of weakness but I wish we could go back to when it wasn’t.
    Enjoy your new school Ted and drink in that enjoyment Annabel.

  7. To the kind benefactor, whoever you are, you totally rock!!!!

  8. Casdok says:

    Fingers crossed for new school.
    It is very heart warming to heat that the world can be like this 🙂

  9. eyejewels says:

    Oh that is so wonderful! What a lovely person, and yes it is great to be reminded how good the world can be.

  10. 69jojo69 says:

    Thank you! It’s all any one can say. To the kind soul that has made life bright for a mum & her son may you reap what you sow. You have done more than you will probably ever know.

  11. Peri says:

    So happy for you and and Ted that you found a guardian angel – it is wonderful to know that such kindness of heart is still out there. Gives me a sense of hope.

    I bet you felt so overwhelmed – I am so glad your friend gave you the right advice – sometimes you have to say yes.

    I think the majority of people who read your post and follow on Twitter etc – knew the media stuff was just nasty BS.

    I hope Ted was a wonderful year and you too.

    Peri xxx

    (Perilious44 on twitter).

  12. Amadoldbat says:

    Whoever you are, you are a brilliant person. One hears so many horrible stories every day and you have (at least temporarily!) restored my faith in human nature. Thank you.

  13. JoeyR says:

    What a wonderful gesture by your anonymous benefactor. Well done to them. I hope Ted has a brilliant time at his school and it gives him the education he deserves. xx

  14. What fantastic news. I’m thrilled for you and for Ted and I’m thrilled for what this says about the bigger picture too. Knowing that your mystery benefactor exists is, in and of itself, heartening in the truest sense.

  15. This has made me extraordinarily happy and restores my jaded faith in humanity. All the best to Ted for the coming school year

  16. That the world has people like this, non-cynical, generous people who want to help others that they don’t know, simply because they can, simply because they were touched by a stranger’s plight, really gladdens my heart.

    I’m so happy that this has happened, and best of luck to Ted, and to you tomorrow. x

  17. Jess says:

    Wonderful news, wonderful people, a true act of human kindness. Good luck to Ted too 🙂 xx

  18. maggie says:

    How wonderful for you & Ted, hope he has a great time :). To the person who gave him this chance thank you for your kindness xx

  19. Thank You Rich Mystery Man! Or Rich Mystery Woman! You’re da bomb.

  20. Apart from being such wonderful news for you and Ted, it’s also wonderful to know that there are kind and generous and genuine people out in the world when things seem so bleak.


  21. Guy Lloyd says:

    Just goes to show; love and kindness is out there. Sometimes we just have to ask for help to be heard. Very happy for you both xx

  22. A beacon of truly ultra-bright beautifulness that reminds us that life is not that bad and neither is everybody that`s in it.

  23. Hopskotch says:

    Big thanks, Beneficent Benefactor! Getting from Point A to Point B on the road of life is hard enough without car trouble – so thanks for providing your fellow travelers a great big can of Fix-A-Flat…

    Ted, as one mild Aspie to another – congrats! School and growing up are always tough, but sounds like you have the “right stuff.” So give it your all, and have a blast doing it. Best of luck!

  24. Hopskotch says:

    And thank you too Annabel, very much, for your posts. I’m sure they’re really helpful to a lot of special needs parents. But they’re also a big help to some of us “special needs adults.” Many of us didn’t get much useful education about living with our “conditions,” especially those of us who didn’t get a reasonable diagnosis until mid-adulthood. Even though everyone’s different, it’s often useful to read others’ stories. A tidbit here, a tidbit there, and we’re able to gain insights that let us piece ourselves together in ways that help us figure out how to keep moving forward. I guess we’re reverse engineering ourselves the way we’ve reverse engineered the NT folks all these years. So thanks – very much. And looking forward to the further adventures of Ted at Awesome Academy! 🙂

    • annabelgiles says:

      I can’t tell you how much it means to read your comments. I often ask myself if Ted will be embarrassed in future life about me writing about him so openly. But then I remember he is a kind person who would want to help other people, and the thought of someone with similar issues getting something from all this is just brilliant. Thank you for taking the time to write, brilliant of you xx

  25. Roz Bridges says:

    What an amazing thing to do. Restores my faith in human nature x

  26. to your mystery benefactor: Your kindness is magnificent …

    to Annabel: we met years and years ago in London, funny that we both live here in sunny *ahem Brighton now 🙂 I hope that you have can enjoy some ‘me’ time … I know how tiring it can be.

    to Ted: I hope your school brings you joy and a wonderfully creative outlet

  27. jo c says:

    Amazing and heart warming. Your story has really touched me. Please continue to keep us updated and very best wishes to you both.

  28. Gary R-H says:

    Well done kind person what a kind and generous thing to do – It would not have been an easy thing to do to accept such a large sum of money – even if it is not such a large sum for the giver to pass on. I am astounded and pleased that people can do this sort of thing for someone they don’t know in person, it puts back my faith in human kind. I sincerely hope, as I’m sure Annabelle believes, that this new education will make a real difference to Ted’s life. I also hope that Annabelle will be able to finance the remainder of his time there too. Nothing could be worse that finding this year is great for Ted but the second year is too costly. That said Annabell is clearly almost as determined and resourceful as she is a tirelessly loving mother, and she will find a way to keep him there if its right for him.

  29. Katisha says:

    The mystery donor was just amazing, wonderful, imaginative, kind, a real guardian angel. As a parent myself I’m simply overwhelmed with gratitude, by proxy as it were. Like they say in Australia, his (or her) blood should be bottled!

  30. I can’t tell you how happy I am for you, for Ted and how proud I am of the generous person that helped. I know you won’t ever forget this kindness nor will any of us. I have a few choice terms for the press you got as well but I will restrain myself.

    Annabel one day you and Ted will both be able to do something as wonderful for someone else, I know you will. I have a lot of faith in this world and it’s people and the amazing act’s of random kindness they can perform and nothing is ever paid back but instead they pass it on to the next person that needs a warm heart and loving care and a good friend.

    I believe you will find your way,

    love and bright blessings



    To the person that did this for Annabel and Ted:

    My dear friend,

    Thank you so much, not only for the amazing gift you gave to Annabel and Ted, but the amazing gift you gave to all who know of your kindness, the gift of inspiration, the gift of showing how random acts of kindness can change a whole world and make each day brighter and for the gift of your love and friendship even without knowing Annabel and Ted. You my friend have a heart of gold and have restored faith in people for many people and proved that there are more than 7 wonders to this world, and you would be one of them.

    May you always be brightly blessed,

    Best wishes


  31. Penelope says:

    I know I’m only one of many who was so moved by Annabel’s original post. And one of the many who wished they were in a position to help in some capacity. I work in a mainstream high school with an extremely high percentage of children with additional needs and although every member of the school community tries their best to accommodate these needs, it is clear that, for some, it’s just not enough. Or it’s just not ‘right’. Annabel’s description of how this sort of environment affected Ted at home was upsetting and, I’m sure, is a common story with some of our pupils.
    What is wonderful, is that you have found a place which is a good fit and hopefully Ted is thriving. That a single person has, anonymously, enabled this to happen is truly incredible. What an amazing person, whose kind actions have touched so many who were affected by Annabel and Ted’s story. Wonderful!
    Dear Annabel,
    We would all love to hear how Ted has settled in and how you’ve all adapted to the new situation as a family. Your story is inspiring.
    All best wishes. X

  32. David says:

    Ted is lucky to have you Ms. Giles. I know how he feels, but I can’t imagine how hard it is for you. He loves you more than you know.

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