As a non verbal child ( I am slowly moving away from pre verbal) Andy struggles to be heard or make his wishes known. The world must be a difficult , confusing and frustrating place for him much of the time. We have tried so many ways to provide a functional method of him getting his message across.
It dawned on me this week that sadly there is a parallel here with raising autism awareness and making the case for proper services. The irony here is that it is not always with the general public, who are so often responsive, encouraging and approachable. Sadly the problem is often with those who should frankly know better. Politicians, policy makers and professionals is where the real work needs to be concentrated I have slowly discovered. Notable exceptions aside I have been disappointed at the lack of appropriate responses to concerns or issues raised. In the last few months we have experienced social work managers who have declined invitations to visit, emails and letters to the local and national press that have sought answers about the current governments autism strategy that have failed to receive any reply or acknowledgment and four of our five parliamentary candidates declining to come and find out about our son. Disability is often used to make political capital or provide handsome salaries and positions for individuals. Is it perhaps time there was more engagement with those affected?
Meanwhile I will keep plugging away with library displays, blogs, letters to the press and support meetings, whenever time allows.