We were always conscious to “coax” Fionn beyond his social comfort zone.

At times it may seem cruel – but we used to ask him “where do you want to be when you’re 18″…..and the answer (based on having a perfect older brother in the category) was ” going to town/disco with my friends”….and so we’d point out he NEEDED to mix with people to do that.
Group music activities/ After School choirs/ Drama….all perfect. but CHALLENGING…. .. (Helen)

A few weeks ago the pantomime was on and I was in it. At first I was really nervous cos I didn’t really know anyone.

The year before I sold programmes which I enjoyed cos I was on my own. I just didn’t do it cos at first I need to get used to people and my surroundings. So I walked and talked but wasn’t in it. Mummy and daddy thought that it would be a good idea cos there are lots of different types of people in it. There was only three boys from my school in it who at the stage I didn’t know really well.

The first practise was really good. There were lots of people in the chorus which at first made me feel uncomfortable cos i thought they might pick on me but they didnt were nice to me. I wasn’t frightened about the dancing cos if somebody else is doing something with me I can do it easily. So I thought it would be 100% happy. But a few days later we lost a member of the chorus, josh Gallagher, who throughout the show was missed very much. Josh was getting bullied and could no longer take it. That was a really sad moment for me – i had never had a friend who died before. On the last night we lit to Chinese lanterns in his memory. It was really emoutious.

The next practise i got told that me and the boys would have a solo so i stared shitting the brick but it turns out that it was a really cool piece of ju jitsu so I was fine with it. After a few more practises I really got into the groove of the Panto, and before I knew it, we were practising in the ardhowen which made me think of how long I’d been practising. A few nights later the show began. I was nervous of the audience cos i didnt know if theyd like it or not but then i realised that the audience were having a great time.

The first night was rough but after a while it started to go really smoothly. Then the last night came and I started to feel sad. The last show was nerveracking cos a few of my friends were there. I’m really gonna miss the show. After the show, it was a hug fest, which mademe feel happy and sad. I really love the Panto and I will definitely be back next year.


(Sent from my iPad)