The Hair Challenge….raising awareness for Autism

30Mar

As today is World Autism Awareness Day, we would like to introduce you to 16-year-old Natalie. Natalie is autistic and is very proud of this.

What is autism? The National Autism Society describes Autism as a “lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others.

Autistic people see, hear and feel the world differently to other people. …autism is not an illness or disease and cannot be ‘cured’. Often people feel being autistic is a fundamental aspect of their identity.

Autism is a spectrum condition. All autistic people share certain difficulties but being autistic will affect them in different ways. “

To raise awareness for Autism Natalie had a haircut. Perhaps for many this sounds like a simple thing, but Natalie contemplated this cut for a long time, and it is something that is very difficult for her because her hair is one of her triggers. Natalie doesn’t like anyone touching her hair and is only comfortable with her mother styling her hair. And a haircut can change one’s appearance which as Natalie considered this it was very challenging BUT, like everything else in her life that has proven a challenge, Natalie stepped up to it!

 Without adding detail, she was abruptly made aware of the horror that is cancer which made an impact on her. She loves the fact that she can help in a small way by donating her hair to help make a wig for a young person. Natalie took time to prepare herself for the hair cut and initially the date was set for 5th April, but the school Natalie attends wanted to get involved and support her, so she had her hair cut at school on March 26.

If you would like to help and support Autism Awareness and Natalie in particular, you can do so through JustGiving. Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity. So, it’s the most efficient way to donate – saving time and cutting costs for the charity.

There is still time to support and encourage Natalie!

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/colin-clark14

Why is awareness important? Chatting with Natalie’s mum, Georgina, she said,  

Natalie received her diagnosis about 10 years ago now and we received literally no support. I have been delighted at how much this has changed. Awareness and understanding of Autism is so important to us because it’s not an easy journey. ”

We asked Natalie’s mum what advice she would have for parents whose child has just received a diagnosis, she said

Advice is hard!! Ehm it’s a long, hard but very rewarding journey. It’s important to remember that an autistic person isn’t broken, they don’t need fixed. Their brain works differently from a non-autistic person. I’ve always taught Natalie this and to be proud that she thinks differently because it’s pure and beautiful. You need a whole lot of love, time and patience but also perseverance because anything is possible but in their own time. We talk about changes if possible, for a long time before it happens. Most importantly, don’t feel peer pressured by parents with children of the same age as they will never be the same. I have learned so much from having Natalie and unfortunately the world is full of judgemental people with little time or patience it’s tough, but I don’t hide this from her. She needs to be able to stand up for herself and be proud. I make lots of mistakes and am still learning too.”

Le Faon

Domaine Du Sourire is a holiday complex with 4 gites, 3 of which are accessible. It is our vision to make holidays accessible for everyone, a space where you can holiday without feeling judged. Not only do we have 3 accessible gites we have a soft play and a sensory room on site. We welcome those with the so-called hidden disabilities such as Autism, ADHD, learning difficulties to name a very few, this is the main reason the Sensory room was built so a space for kids or adults to go to for a break. This year we are revamping our sensory garden too. Families and individuals, with disability or with no disability, are welcome to enjoy a memorable holiday experience at Domaine Du Sourire. 

For more information on Domaine du Sourire please visit our website at www.domainedusourire.com

For more information autism please visit the National Autistic Society’s website www.autism.org.uk/

La Passion de Villebois-Lavallette

30Mar

Home of the delicious renowned Cornuelle is virtually on the doorstep of Domanine Du Sourire in the nearby historic village od Villebois Lavallette.

The Cornuelle is a triangular shortbread cake with a hole in the middle and is traditionally associated with Palm Sunday or as it is called in french, Le Dimanche des Rameaux.

The shortbread biscuit is brushed with egg yolk, to which a few aniseed seeds are added at all three corners. The two artisan bakers of Villebois jealously guard their recipe which they hold of their respective predecessors. That’s all we’ll know; the rest is top secret. Although today, more elaborate recipes can be found, and it’s not uncommon to find cornuelles filled with whipped cream or mousseline cream. No matter it’s mystery the taste of this mysterious little shortbread is truly addictive!

The village celebrates with an annual festival where ginormous Cornuelles are baked ands take pride of place in a precession before being broken and shared among the people.

In this part of France box-tree branches instead of palms are used  to commemorate the Dimanche des Rameaux.  Box-tree, being a perennial shrub with very resilient dark green leaves is an ideal symbol of life and so its use in certain regions of France rather than the palms. in Villebois Lavalette, the mass of the branches and the blessing of the boxwood takes place under the Hall, in the open air before the Cornuelles shared around.

In Villebois-Lavalette, the festival attracts a very large audience and about 12 000 cornuelles are sold in one day. During the blessing, a sprig of box tree can be slipped through the middle.

Apart form the blessing ceremony and procession of the giant cornuelles with many in costume there is much more to enjoy for the family. The village is beautifully decorated with copious greenery of box twigs on store fronts, along the streets, the open town Hall square, anywhere and everywhere! There is sometime a flea market on, children’s workshops, pony rides, horse drawn carriage rides, exhibitions, competitions and more but don’t forget a visit to the Chateau, it is unmissable! You can enjoy the whole day enjoying a lunch if you have registered. A wonderful way to celebrate the end of lent and to commemorate the triumphant arrival of Christ in Jerusalem, days before he was crucified.

Why not plan a short Easter break for your family enjoying the benefits of our accommodation at Domaine Du Sourire and plan to take in this festival on Palm Sunday in the nearby historic village of Villebois with its impressive Chateau that overlooks the village. Browse through our website and book today, it’s not too late! www.domainedusourire.com