Wolfie Blue’s is a unique autism activist residing in the U.K. Over the years she has traveled extensively with her family and performed in many outdoor festivals as a circus performer.
She is a mother of four young kids, two of whom are diagnosed with autism as well as an educator(she homeschools her children) and an avid blogger lending much-needed tips to less experienced moms on how to cope with autism on a daily basis.
How did you come up with the ‘ Rainbow Circus Mamas’ concept?
It is symbolic for me.
The ‘Rainbow’ represents the Autistic spectrum, ‘Mama
‘ is me, and we are circus performers. I wanted to create a space for moms and children at festivals to relax slowdown from all the hectic life around us and even learn while playing.
How do you find the time to do community work while taking care of four kids?
I homeschool, so time for me is immaterial. I’m always busy, so it’s not a case of fitting everything in but rather doing everything in the right order! I’ve just published my book ‘Diary of an Autism Mother’
explaining how I get everything done. Though it gets stressful at times, I wouldn’t change anything in my life.
Are any other family members involved in The ‘Rainbow Mamas Circus’ project?
Our kids are involved, of course, and their dad is the other part of the circus. We work in close collaboration with another group called “the naughty pixies” that have built a Yurt and inspired us to make one too.
How often do you travel?
We only travel when we have a booking somewhere, usually at a festival. We typically go a few days before the event and then head back home after helping to clean up and pack everything down.
How well do you pack a family of six on short notice?
I’m a master at packing. Filling the minibus with everything takes me about an hour. I have lots of packing
lists, to do lists and army drill style packing knowledge.
Where do you stay when you travel?
We sleep in our minibus; although when the yurt is finished, we’ll be a lot more comfortable sleeping inside. Festivals are outdoor events, so there are usually gas stoves and campfires for cooking.
Keeping young special needs kids safe in large crowds must be a challenge- How do you manage?
Having autistic children is a massive responsibility!
I watch the kids all the time plus their dad is on hand to help. I also have them wear ID tags in the isolated case they should wander off.
Are you raising money for a particular cause?
We don’t raise money; it’s purely volunteer work. Sometimes we get reimbursed for the fuel costs if we travel far. I have done some fundraising for the National Autistic Society recently- I got calendars made to sell and got everyone involved.
How are the shows received in the community?
We get bookings at family friendly festivals where we are well received. People know that we’re there to entertain them, and most children find playing with circus toys irresistible
How do your kids enjoy the shows?
They are all naturally circus lovers, so it’s like a big sensory trip for them. My daughter loves art and helps out with the visuals.
My older nonverbal autistic son enjoys the loud music. As for fire shows -most kids I know are fascinated by twirling flames, mine included.
If you had to choose a personal favorite; which festival would it be?
Hands down the
best fire shows are at ‘Alchemy’ festival with more than 100 people who join in – an unusual sight!
But the best children’s atmosphere has to be the ‘beautiful days’ at the Levellers festival where all the kids run out of their tents down the hill to come and play with the circus toys, and everyone remembers everyone from previous years.
Do you see a change in people and their level of autism awareness after they meet your family?
Oh, yes. People remember us and after spending time with my autistic children, they learn how to respond in a much more positive way.
Since two of my boys are nonverbal many, people learn quite a bit about autistic behavior. Also, some of my art boards promote natural birth, breastfeeding, and autism acceptance, so other mothers learn new stuff too.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
I’m a planner! I sit and draw visual calendars with five-year projections. Aside from homeschooling my kids, writing my books and fundraising my ultimate dream is to expand the circus and get a bigger space for it.
I have people messaging me on Facebook asking for advice on their special needs kids, so I would love to set up an online support group to reach out to those who are just starting out and help them.