Listening to parents share their stories about their children who have autism we can recognise two key things:
- Their children are loved and enrich the lives of their families
- Their children - and the attitudes of others around them - can present daily challenges that can be physically exhausting and emotionally draining.
Rainbowland Autism Services
Parents are advocates for their children. But who will advocate for families when they feel disempowered, exhausted or unsupported?
Rainbowland Autism Services states that they are:
“a modern, innovative and energetic organisation that demonstrates its passion for helping families living with autism through its dynamic services and commitment to global autism awareness. RAS strives to advocate for the human rights of families and promote community awareness and inclusion at every opportunity."
One Campaign that has been driven by Rainbowland Autism Services is the campaign for families of children with developmental disabilities to be eligible for disability parking permits. Listen to this video clip to find out why this is so important. Especially listen to Jacob and his family's experiences in the carpark (starting from about the 2 minute mark).
Autism Rainbow Day
But one of the biggest campaigns is the current campaign to build Autism Awareness globally. It is not about raising money, but raising awareness.
The key event of this campaign is on the 30th of April. This has been nominated as Autism Rainbow Day.
On this day businesses, schools, social groups are being asked to build autism awareness by wearing a plain coloured t-shirt. In their press release they state that the colours are to represent the colours of the rainbow - and the autism spectrum.
To support this awareness campaign, follow these simple steps:
- Join the Autism Rainbow Day Facebook Group
- Download your Rainbow Day Poster - print it and hang it everywhere.
- Tell your school and workplace about it - and hang more posters.
- On Friday 30th wear a plain coloured t-shirt (and keep a few in your car to share with those who have forgotten :) )
- When people ask why you are wearing bright colours, tell them about Autism. To help you with this, Allison has put together an Autism Awareness Sheet which you can pass on to people. *
So get out there and spread awareness :)
* You could also use the Learn to be Buddies Awareness sheets:
The Underlying Difficulties - and Strengths - of Autism
Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders