Having spent the last 18 years living with autism, one of the things that never ceased to amaze me was the lack of understanding about Autism from our very own community.
I have always felt very strongly about the need for a change. Acceptance of Autism within our community is so vital to ensure families dealing with this on a daily basis are not isolated and ostracised. I knew I had to try & make a difference. This is when I decided to open up my life and personal experiences to the world. Simply put, I shared our journey.
Each journey of autism is unique & different. All those living with autism might have a different view or lived a different journey but we all share the same heart ache this journey brings as a parents of an autistic child.
I won’t hide my daughter away, simply because society feels uncomfortable with her body movements or the sounds she makes or her rocking or even her meltdowns. She has autism and this is not her fault!! Her journey through life is hard enough without being pointed at, stared at or others thinking she has some kind of mental illness.
This campaign has been a whirlwind since I started in February this year! I have been overwhelmed with the positive response I have received from so many for highlighting this issue. My dream has always been to ensure I can create understanding surrounding various aspects of autism. I really need the wider community to be able to understand and show compassion to families living with autism by truly understanding how difficult this journey can be for many.
Slowly but surely, I am very happy to say the message has got out there. I have given a variety of press, TV and Radio interviews to ensure the message is received by as many people as possible.
Yesterday I was contacted by ITV Central News who have been following my blog & my campaign to raise awareness about Autism, especially within Asian communities. They were so intrigued by our journey they gave us the amazing opportunity to film us for a news piece.
This will be aired on Monday 18/08/14 at 6pm, ITV Central News (East Midlands)
Media coverage is essential for any campaign and I am truly grateful to all who have helped me achieve this. Although, highlighting our journey via media sources is imperative in raising awareness, just as important is creating a support network. One of my key goals is to put in place a support system, a helpline, an organisation dedicated to helping those on this journey. I want to ensure that there is someone that every family living with autism can turn to. This is NOT just about my family or my daughter. There are many parents struggling on their own. No one should be looked down on or treated any different simply cause they have autism!!
A Huge thank you to ITV for helping highlight this issue. NOW I need Gurdwaras, Mosques, Temples &Community centres to step up & help make the change that is well overdue!!! To everyone who has supported this campaign, please accept my very big heartfelt thank you.
My home town of Leicester have been legendary in their support for this campaign. I can’t make this change alone but with my home town & many others across the UK backing us we can & we will change this. We will have autism acceptance for each & every person living with autism. That is the hope me & my family have.