The network was simply the answer to this question “How can we create understanding in society, in general, not just reach caregivers or the community?”.
I am really proud to be part of my community. I have met some truly incredible and inspiring advocates online.
I have talked about uniting the autistic community so there is someone to turn to at all times, creating this global support platform with support and social spaces.
What I haven’t mentioned is the concept behind the network. At the moment it seems like advocates are mainly interacting with caregivers or wider family, which is great, but it means there is still a large part of society that won’t understand. My thought was create a network that gives advocates their own spaces. You could have a large number of advocates in one place. Plus because it’s been created for the community and caregivers it will be easier to find the advocate that speaks to you. The voice that you find most relatable to your own experiences, either as an autistic person or to someone that cares for one.
In my opinion, that’s what is needed, multiple viewpoints but in one place. For the community by the community. Children need to see themselves in an advocate. The more advocates we have in one place, with different voices and backgrounds ... different people, but working towards a shared goal. That could really help autistic children feel proud to be who they are. Give them personal role models, and a feeling of belonging, which took me too long to find. Plus it could help reach further into society in general. Allowing for a level of understanding that makes daily lives/interaction so much easier for the community in the future.
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All the best
Words – Ross A Fraser
Graphic Design App – Canva