Alex and Sandi’s story

You’re welcome here, whoever you are and wherever you’re from! Sandi shares how 137th City of Edinburgh Brownies have welcomed her daughter Alex and really helped her confidence grow.

My youngest daughter Tori had been going to Rainbows for a year and was really enjoying it. My eldest Alex has Autism Spectrum Disorder and Hyperacusis (which means she has a high sensitivity to sounds). I wasn’t so sure about her joining Brownies but she was so keen to get involved in the fun that I thought we’d give it a go.

The leader was really welcoming, she explained everything that would happen during the session and let me know I could stay if I wanted to. Although Alex was a little confused during the first few unit meetings she has since blossomed with the routine and structure of the sessions.

I’ve recently become a unit helper which, as I’m a working mum, is a fantastic way for Alex and I to spend more quality time together. It also means Alex can come to me whenever she feels overwhelmed, but she’s now even managed some sessions without me!

The leaders are the nicest ladies I think I’ve ever met! They give me the plans of the sessions ahead of time so if there’s anything happening that could be tricky or confusing for Alex I’m able to get her prepared.

Alex and I recently made our Promise together which we practised beforehand, taking it in turns to be the leader and the Brownie! This was what Alex had been waiting for and our family even came to watch her big moment. Alex now has a wooden Promise keyring that she keeps in her jacket pocket and carries everywhere with her – she’s so proud to be a Brownie.

My advice to parents in a similar situation is to give it a try and head along to a taster session – there’s no commitment involved. It’s helped me to take a layer of the ‘cotton wool’ off that I’ve wrapped her in for so long and in turn gives me confidence to let her try something unknown.

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