An INSPIRATIONAL mum whose two children were diagnosed with autism is using her own experiences to help other Doncaster families.
As well as juggling the demands of raising her two children- Louis, nine, and seven-year-old Georgia, Amanda Hoff is also chair of Little Rainbows Autism Group.
Amanda, 42, took on the role in a bid to help other families in her situation.
Amanda, of Bracken Heen Close, Hatfield said: “When Louis was diagnosed in 2004 he was three and we knew something wasn’t right.
“He didn’t seem to be developing as quickly as other children and wasn’t talking but to hear the words autistic was still devastating, it floored us.
“It was a nightmare. You just start to think of all the things they’re never going to be able to do and initially think of the negatives.”
And just two years later the family were dealt another devastating blow when Georgia was diagnosed.
“I was a bit in denial with Georgia. We just took it for granted she would be OK and thought she might just be copying some of her behaviour from Louis, so when they told us it was like a double whammy.”
Amanda stumbled across Little Rainbows after attending a disability day to see what help was on offer.
“It was so nice to be talking to other mums and parents who were going through exactly what we were, just to know that you’re not alone.
“I would just say to people in my situation, come along and see what we do. Don’t lock yourself away from the world you can still lead a very normal life.”
Little Rainbows Autism Group provides support to families of young children affected by autism and Asperger’s syndrome.
Speaking about her children Amanda said: “It is frustrating for Georgia because she can’t speak so she can’t tell us what she want but she is signing. It’s difficult but they are both happy.
“They are always smiling, I don’t think they know that they’re any different.” To find out more contact Amanda on 352 060 or visit www.littlerainbowsgroup.wordpress.com