Mum's charity ride for support group following son's autism diagnosis
PUBLISHED: 14:40 11 July 2019 | UPDATED: 14:56 11 July 2019
A mother has described the "really tough battle" following her son's diagnosis with autism and her fundraising plans to keep a vital support group running.
Mother-of-two Jennifer Hoye from Beccles, grappled with feelings of guilt and depression throughout her son Oscar's diagnosis with autism.
"Getting my son's diagnosis of autism has been a tremendously emotional journey resulting in a mixture of relief, sadness, anger and frustration which led to feelings of depression, guilt and anxiety," the 38-year-old said.
On Saturday (July 13), Mrs Hoye will cycle 200km through the night from Hackney Downs to Dunwich Beach in time for sunrise to raise money for the Beccles Family Group which is run by Aspergers East Anglia.
"My hopes and dreams for him felt like they'd been shattered to start with, it's very important to be able to discuss these feelings in an open-minded environment like the family group, as it gives you a greater sense of the reality of autism and understanding of the struggles associated with it," Mrs Hoye said.
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"I love a personal challenge and keeping active. Exercise keeps me sane and gives me time out from the daily demands of family life.
"As a parent to a child with autism, family life can be particularly demanding at times," she said.
According to Mrs Hoye, the family group keeps children who are on the spectrum in a safe and structured environment where they can socialise and participate in activities with support and understanding.
"It's a great opportunity for other parents with autistic family members to socialise and share experiences and learn so much more about autism," she said.
Aspergers East Anglia host drop-in meetings for carers of autistic people, as well as provide service to people with Asperger syndrome and high functioning autism of all ages, but the funding is running out and they are working on original ways to raise money.
The mother-of-two said: "There is limited funding to keep this lovely group going, without it there is very little help for parents particularly when they need it most during the difficult, frustrating stages of diagnosis."
To donate, visit the GoFundMe page.