Why Walk? Diane's story
Diane walks for her 6-year-old son Leo who was diagnosed three years ago as being on the autism spectrum.
Describing her experience of raising a child on the autism spectrum as one of the most rewarding, but also hardest things she has done, Diane says, “Raising a child on the autism spectrum is a constant challenge and can often be overwhelming, exhausting and lonely. But my son has proved that with the right love, support and understanding he can achieve anything and every milestone, or inchstone as I call them, is celebrated. His difference is what makes him so special.”
A different brilliant is exactly what Aspect and Walk for autism celebrates. Autism is a condition that affects how a person thinks, feels, interacts with others and experiences the world around them. It is a lifelong disability that starts when a person is born and stays with them into old age. Every autistic person is different to every other. This is why autism is described as a ‘spectrum’.
As a mum to a child on the autism spectrum Diane believes that it is up to all of us to adapt our behaviour, perspectives and environments to be inclusive of all people and says that Leo has taught her so much - including strength, patience and understanding.
“Leo has taught me to be strong even when I feel weak, to stand up for someone who doesn’t always have a voice, and to try and understand obstacles that my son might be facing and be patient with him and to learn at his pace, not mine.”
“I truly believe knowledge is power and I hope that people can better educate themselves on autism so there is more understanding, patience and compassion when it comes to children and adults living on the autism spectrum,” says Diane.
With Leo a student at one of Aspect’s nine schools, Diane sees first-hand the impact that funds raised through Walk for autism can have and how important it is for community to come together.
“When people get behind Walk for autism it shows me that I’m not in this alone. It’s a great feeling to know friends, family and businesses have supported Walk for autism through very generous donations, no matter how big or small. Their support is not only for me, but for my child and his school, and this makes me very proud. The money I have raised has helped Aspect to purchase literacy kits, sensory equipment and other tools to help create a safe, fun and educational environment for my son and the students at Aspect.”
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