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16 October 2014

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Flying High

By Ian's Mum
June 2005, south east Wales
A digital story from Capture Wales

Taking the Plunge

Finally, after non-stop talking for more than 12 months, Ian is ready to take the plunge in his tandem paraglide debut.

"Ian has his own bench in school. He also has Aspergers Syndrome.

Three years ago he wanted to do a tandem paraglide, but he had to wait a whole year 'til our next holiday. After 12 months of non stop talking about it, we were finally off to Austria. His suitcase was crammed with his most treasured possessions - never mind clothes.

Finally the day for his paraglide arrived and I don't know who was more scared, him or me. He'd been gone for over three hours when as last I spotted this yellow speck in the distance. It was Ian floating through the sky with a beaming smile that lasted for the rest of our holiday.

I have always known that he's different from other bous but I didn't know why. Ian didn't know why he was bullied. Everybody told me I had a spoilt naughty boy, but I knew different. Eventually Ian walked out of school and refused to return. He had a lonely year at home, with only one friend who helped him through this dreadful time.

Ian's interests often take over the whole family because we always have to be close by in case things go wrong, and believe me if they do go wrong - they go wrong BIG TIME! It's snooker and snowboarding at the moment and he says of he can't be Welsh snooker champion he'll settle for a snow boarding instructor.

A few weeks ago Ian was 14 and he had his first proper birthday with 'friends'.

Sometimes, when things aren't quite going quite right for him I just want to give him a big hug and make things better, but all he wants to do is be alone. That's why his new school has given him his own bench. It's his sanctuary where he can go to be by himself and calm down. It's simple, but it works."

Ian's Mum

Please tell us a little about yourself.
I am a mother of two teenage children. My youngest son has Aspergers Syndrome. I am also a teacher. There isn't much time for anything else.

What's your story about?
It's a snapshot of Ian's teenage years - how he wants to do normal activities and how intense his life is. I wanted to show how something so simple as having enough friends for a birthday party was so important for Ian.
In my digital story I wanted to get across that children with Aspergers Syndrome are fundamentally normal, bright, intelligent children wanting to do normal teenage activities, but underneath they are also vulnerable people who want a lot of support and understanding.

What did you find most rewarding about the workshop?
I really enjoyed being with people who wanted to understand what it was like living with a child with Aspergers Syndrome. On a more personal note I felt a great sense of achievement when I saw the completed story on the screen. I learnt a lot about what computers could do too!

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