THEY WALKED To ACCEPT, INCLUDE and EMPOWER Autism Awareness Walk

Published : 12:02 am  April 10, 2018 | No comments so far |  |  (102) reads | 

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Untitled-1AUTISM – do we know enough about it? Are we accepting these children and young adults with autism to be part of our society? Do we give them the love and care we would give our children who are not autistic?  These are some of the questions that the Reach Beyond team strived to answer when they organised the awareness walk to commemorate the World Autism Day recently.


Reach Beyond – Autism and Child Development Centre’s “Walk to ACCEPT, INCLUDE and EMPOWER” which was held at the Viharamahadevi Park was a successful event patronised by the young and old alike to support this cause, as it aims to create awareness at grassroot level and promote a more inclusive society for children and young adults with disabilities. It was encouraging to see so many people with no barriers of social backgrounds, age, race or religion join hands together in one accord, with one purpose in mind – to help and empower these individuals with special needs. 


Reach Beyond ‘Parents as Partners’ support group is the first island wide parent disability movement in Sri Lanka. They are a free of charge support network for parents of children with all disabilities, in operation since November of 2016, with a growing membership of more than 700 parents.

 

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It was encouraging to see so many people with no barriers of social backgrounds, age, race or religion join hands together in one accord

 


Their goal is to build a tri-lingual parent support network of 10,000 parents across the country within the next 3 to 5 years. Awareness and acceptance go a long way in helping individuals with autism lead a meaningful life. The parents of children with autism not only struggle with helping their child cope with the struggles of daily life, but also feel belittled by the judging eyes of the public. The walk was followed by several tri-lingual events including a talent show, fun fair and forum for parents.


Many parents were seen mingling and getting to know individuals with autism and their families who could in the future help and support them overcome the stigma. This was a great opportunity for them to realise that they need not feel alone anymore.

 

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Life-2-new

 

 

 

 

photo by Damith 
Wickramasinghe