Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Lets talk about Autism

As a part of my multimedia journalism course, we have to do a major multimedia project on a topic and then do it across different mediums. I struggled coming up with an idea I was passionate about and could really get into. After much research and brainstorming ideas, I called up a family friend who founded an autism charity in Brighton. She started to tell me about all the problems they had in Brighton & Hove to do with autism. I was so shocked by how bad some services had been and how autistic children were treated. It really inspired me to do my project on Autism Parent Power and I loved speaking to so many inspiring people.

I have learnt so much throughout this project, I have spoken to so many strong and incredible parents. I know when you become a parent, your child becomes your world and your priority, but still the constant fight parents of autistic children have is ridiculous. It was disappointing to hear how bad schools were, the long wait for diagnosis and the lack of support afterwards. However, it was amazing to see how great charities are and that most are started by parents.

I was lucky to speak to Vikie Shanks who has 7 children, 6 of whom are autistic and 2 of them also have cerebral palsy, and one who is severely autistic. I was in awe of her, how she manages to be a mum, write her blog and book, and still has time to help out other families with autistic children, it is beyond me. She is a single mum as well which makes it so impressive and she is a inspiration.

It is also quite sad to hear about the judgment surrounding autism and the high amount of bullying. Over 60% of autistic children are bullied, it is such a high percentage and it is just awful. Autism is a hidden condition, you can't see it and people with autism look no different to anyone else. Yet autistic children fall victim to bullying simply because they stand out and don't always fit in. I heard a few sad stories about children being bullied and it broke my heart a little bit.

I have learnt so much about autism, it is such an interesting topic and I enjoyed putting it all together. I am quite proud of my work and wanted to share it with you all. So let me know what you think. :)

Check out my project which is posted on Buzz Bournemouth.
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