Mum of two, Tom and Alexis. Community fundraiser.
When our eldest child Tom was first diagnosed, I really didn’t know much about autism and became bombarded with so much conflicting online information. The whole process can feel so overwhelming when your child is diagnosed. For me, staying involved in autism research allows me to play my part in helping other parents understand how they can help their children, and hopefully provide some understanding of how we can assist people on the spectrum. Living remotely can make it seem hard to do our part for autism awareness, however engaging with Telethon Kids has been an easy way for us to have some input. We are able to take part in online surveys, host local community events, and when we do visit the city again we can take part in research projects.
Our family has hosted a couple of fundraising events so far, including a really successful family fun day at our local park. The assistance from the community and Telethon Kids to get our event up and running was phenomenal. One of the best parts for me in organising this event was the doors it opened for communication from other parents with kids on the spectrum. People began asking questions and I quickly realised we were far from being the only ones who were trying to understand the world we were now living in. I believe that community knowledge and understanding is essential for those on the spectrum. The more a community understands autism the more acceptance there is and that in itself can lead to success.