The reality of families living with autism

GEORGE (April 2019) – The NPO Binah will be hosting its 3rd annual BIG WALK on Sunday 14 April at 16:00 – at the Garden Route Botanical Gardens for the whole family to raise awareness for families who live with autism.

April is International Autism Awareness month, or like the Autism communities would like to call it, Autism Acceptance month.  Don’t just share quotes about autism on social media, join the BIG WALK and spend some time with our special needs communities. 

When a child is autistic that child’s whole family is affected.  Autism families avoid socialising away from their homes for the simple reason that home is familiar, there is routine and an autistic child’s meltdowns can be contained.  A simple example – Most often an autism family will arrive last at a social event and they will be the first to leave (if they attend one at all). This may be the best way for them to alleviate the stress of social interaction and sensory stimulation for their child. It is a mammoth task for an autism family to plan ahead of time. They might have to cancel plans on their way out if their child cannot cope in the moment.  Do you know a family living with autism?  They may say so, but they need your support.  Don’t feel sorry for them either.  Accept that their family life differs from yours.  Drop off a meal from time to time and know that it will mean a lot.  When you see a quirky child in public, just smile and say ‘Hi’.  That’s the start of acceptance!

It is a heart-breaking fact that because autism is an ‘invisible’ disability, the public may easily judge an autistic child as being undisciplined.  What better way to create a sense of community than by hosting a walk to create awareness around this disorder that affects millions worldwide?  It is humbling to experience events such as these where nobody judges your child.  Families enjoy a fun time in nature, meet one another and even share their experiences regarding their autistic children / siblings.

The Big Walk by Binah for autism awareness will start at 16:00 on Sunday 14 April – at the Garden Route Botanical Gardens.  Join hundreds of people during this massive drive to create awareness and acceptance.  The community of the Garden Route can show understanding and support by participating in this fun walk and stand a chance to win fantastic prizes. The entrance fee is R50pp, children under 12 R20. Everyone who finishes will receive a medal.

By being there and spending time with autistic people, it shows that you embrace neurodiversity. For more information regarding the BIG WALK by BINAH contact Mariza van Deventer on 083 270 6382 or email binahnpo@gmail.com

For the latest news please visit the Facebook pages of Binah and Legacy Centre.

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