One of the most satisfying roles of being a parent to my children in the early years, was that I was their voice until such a time that they had the courage and independence to speak for themselves.
It became a passion of mine to help others understand what their world was like for them – I almost made it my mission to inform and educate those who supported them.
It wasn’t so easy in the beginning as I found it quite confronting – I was quite a shy, reserved person who often preferred to listen rather than lead a conversation. Over time, I built up more and more confidence to speak and be a part of discussions.
Having three children on the spectrum provided me with many opportunities to share my knowledge and experience to assist others in knowing more about Autism. This was empowering for me but also for my children as they developed more confidence in themselves and began to feel and acknowledge a sense of self – acceptance of who they were!
There have been many situations for my son (with Asperger’s) where he was often misunderstood for his actions and the ways in which he managed his world – many other children and even some adults were oblivious (not aware) of his needs. I felt that the misunderstandings from others within his world, was the result of misinformation of Autism and in particular, what Asperger’s Syndrome really meant for him. To the outside world, he appeared to be doing OK, but in reality behind closed doors, it was quite the opposite. We strived to make his environment easier to manage and provide all of the supports that he needed to function throughout the day.
Knowing that I was able to support him and my other children through educating others and encouraging acceptance from the wider community, was my driving force.
Being an advocate for my family has been the most rewarding and uplifting experience, knowing that I have supported and guided them to be the very best that they can be!