Sunday, October 10, 2010

Part Two~ "Girls and Women with Asperger's Syndrome" -A One-day Workshop

I can't believe that's it's a week ago since the talk.
After settling into my hotel and having a bit of a look around I decided to go up to my room and watch the last of "Deal Or No Deal" and also the news on Channel 7. I ended up having a snooze and at about 7:30pm went down to try to have some dinner.and that's when my friend rang me.
Yet when I was down there I ran into Carol, Max, Tony and Camilla having dinner and I joined them. It was good that all of us caught up with each-other before the day. The music was getting a lot louder downstairs so we all left one by one to prepare for the next day.

When I was up in my room I got ready for bed re-read through my notes and watched a bit more TV nearly falling asleep. Turning the TV off was a problem because the remote control wasn't working for some reason and I nearly rang room service. Finally I did turn it off then went to bed. I had the best sleep I could and awoke with my alarm and got ready as well as beginning to pack my bag. I went downstairs for breakfast and also got phone-calls from my my and my friend Caz. At about 8:30am I met Carol, her son and daughter downstairs who were helping me carry some items from the car. Walking over there i couldn't quite believe what was happening and that I was actually there after many months of planning and preparation.

It was like I was in a surreal dream watching what was going on around me. Sure I did have nerves yet I was quite excited at the same time to see what everything looked like. When I walked into the room I was a bit taken aback to see how big it actually was...Also seeing how many people were actually there at this time milling around doing their own thing. I saw Tony Attwood in the distance and then he started to walk towards of all people. We exchanged our "Good mornings" and had a bit of a chat. He also said that he had to walk around the room a bit because of his nerves or something. When I heard that I felt a whole lot more comfortable that even he gets a bit nervous before the talks. I managed to get a cup of tea yet my hands were shaking quite a bit and I had my tea really quickly because I wasn't sure whether you were allowed to drink in the room.

Anyway a lot of thoughts were going through my mind and Carol came up to me and led me to my chair which was right down the front sitting next to Camilla. Walking down the front I felt really self conscious yet proud at the same time. Dr Tony Attwood started talking where I found myself taking a few notes also myself and absolutely fascinated by what he was saying. I was distracted a bit though because I was trying to keep an eye out for when my parents and Caz were coming. Soon it was morning tea where Carol was going to take us to a room for a cuppa. I saw my parents up the back and told Carol I was going to get my parents....then I saw Caz also. I gave my parents a big hug and also Caz. After a couple of minutes we managed to find Carol again then had morning tea.

Well soon Tony started talking again then Camilla had her talk which was fascinating. Hearing her speak was so amazing and to see her computer presentation was good also. She was totally inspiring and had a lot of energy up there on stage. I was really impressed with what she had to say. I also was moved by her because she spoke with such passion....Well done Camilla!!

Lunch came then I had to have lunch in the room quickly before I started selling and signing my books. I was talking to Caz trying to get my mind prepared for the signings and also my parents a bit as well. Mum and I quickly had something to eat then went to the table where all the action was happening with my book. I met a few people who had already bought my book and liked it as well as someone I knew on Facebook also. It was so great people were coming up and talking to me sharing all their different experiences with me. I could have kept going if it wasn't for Tony talking again soon. So I quickly got myself ready for my talk coming up in the next section. It felt so good to have Caz and my parents sitting down the front with me.

Countdown was progressing really fast and I had no idea when Tony was going to call me up. I managed to find where my place would be on the notes just a couple of minutes before calling me up. Next thing I knew I was up there fumbling with trying to put on the lapel microphone on yet luckily Tony helped me. Everything was a bit of a blur after that where I spoke for about 25 minutes in front of about 221 people all up. I felt very passionate to share my story and let them know that there is also hope as well. At the end they gave me a big clap which meant so much...
I walked back to my chair really happy that people understood and listened.

Afternoon tea came a bit late then I was signing books then and I felt so privileged just being there amongst all these amazing people. The last part of the afternoon came with more of Tony and then question time for all of us. That was really interesting with the questions also. Next thing we knew we were all got presents from the ASPIA team. I also have to say a big thank-you to Carol Grigg and all her team for everything that she had done that day to make it really memorable for everyone!!

After the conference had finished for the day I found myself following Caz in the rain with my car to her house. The next few days was a total break from Internet, technology, computers, camera's, mobile phones etc.... It was just a completely back down to basics of resting, going for a couple of nature walks and extremely good company as well as very nice food. I ended up getting home on late Tuesday afternoon after a very quiet few days. So that explains why I haven't done anything on my blog or Facebook for a while.

Oooh.....I nearly forgot...Here's some links to ASPIA who ran the day:

Also to Camilla Connolly:

As well as Tony Attwood:

So please feel free to have a look at those links....

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for these posts about this workshop I´d like very much to visit. But Australia is too far away from Germany.
    So for me it´s only possible to read about it. There aren´t workshops like this in Germany. You will find only books an workshops about children (specially boys) with Asperger´s Syndrome.
    But Asperger´s Syndrom don´t stop in adulthood. I´ve got my diagnosis last year at the age of 47. At this moment it´s very difficult to find other women with Asperger´s.

    Greetings from Germany