On this day, we are showing our support for World Autism Awareness Day – a internationally recognised day to raise public awareness of autism and to celebrate the resilience and achievements of those affected by the disorder.
Marking the fourteenth annual World Autism Awareness Day, communities around the world will be coming together to help recognise those with Autism, aiming to increase the mass understanding and acceptance of autistic individuals.
This World Autism Awareness Day, at FCA we are shining a spotlight on our very own FCA team member, Rachel Griffin, whose daughter was diagnosed with Autism four years ago.
Here at FCA, Rachel is our Participation Officer, primarily focusing on children and young people, making sure that their views are heard and to provide activities and events to encourage them to participate and develop their skills.
To help shed light and tackle misconceptions of Autism, Rachel sat down with FCA to discuss her past and ongoing experience of having a child with Autism.
Summarising her diagnosis, Rachel said: “It’s that time of year that is ever on my mind and heart, this time four years ago my daughter was diagnosed with Autism” and the rest has been history.
With recent 2021 research showing Autism is more common in children in England than previously thought, it is now believed that around ‘one in 57 (1.76%) children in England are on the autistic spectrum’.
Diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be difficult as there is no set ‘test’ as there are many factors that can impact a diagnosis. Rachel commented: “It took two years for my daughter to get the help she needed and even with that help we have continued to support her everyday with new challenges and treasure her and her unique view of the world around her.”
A common misconception that people often have is that raising a child with Autism is extremely difficult. “As many families supporting someone with Autism know it requires strength and determination to get a diagnosis, but with this in turn leads to the help to ensure that those on the spectrum get the right support they need which makes all the difference.”
Reflecting on her experience, Rachel said: “What shocks me is how little understanding people have, many people going on undiagnosed and once adulthood comes along the support that was once a cocoon gets ripped away. I hope that with time and funds this can change.”
Rachel has also been taking part in this year’s Walk for Autism with the challenge of walking 10,000 steps a day for 14 days - a worthy cause that supports not only children but also adults that are autistic. The money will be going to the Autism Initiatives Group - A National Charity operating in the UK and Ireland, who provide services for Autistic Children and Adults of all ages and complexities.
If you wish to find out more about fostering or the support available at FCA, email using the online form here or call the friendly team on 0800 023 4561.