Inspired by Autism was short listed for a national award this week. It now comes down to how many internet votes you get and can all seem a bit false in that respect.
I have been asking for your support so I thought I might set out my reasons for this.
Inspired by Autism is one autism dad’s attempt to provide support, advice and advocacy to people living with autism and to raise awareness at all levels of our community. It was born from both my frustration and passion to challenge the barriers to a full life that autistic people face today in Argyll and indeed across Scotland.
My knowledge comes from a career in social care and social work, self funded study but most importantly living with Andy’s quite extreme autism every day of my life and through my voluntary work helping others with similar issues.
So far I have tried to campaign through legitimate democratic channels. I have set up a proper legal company. I have paid for and achieved post graduate qualifications.
I pay for professional registration in social work. I have put hours and hours of my precious time into Inspired by Autism.
Sadly I can’t seem to even give away my hard won expertise in autism to those senior professionals who take a comfortable living from autism, such is their determination to protect their positions, to maintain the boundaries.
I have offered my input to untrained and under valued workers. I have sourced ‘approved’ resources. I have written training programs. I have put my time and money, my heart and soul into Inspired by Autism. I believe in it and know more than I know anything that I have a positive contribution to make at a variety of levels.
New policies talk of a meaningful partnership with parents sadly something I have seen little evidence of.
This award would give me and my social enterprise some form of recognition and acceptance of the work and care I carry out each and every single day to the very best of my ability.
This award would recognise the struggle that drives my work , a struggle faced by so many – the fight to make people autism aware at all levels of our society, particularly at policy making level – nationally and locally where it is perhaps needed most.
This award would give a voice to those who cannot speak and whose needs are overlooked because I promise to use any opportunity I can to make those voices heard, no matter how hard it is and who falls out with me for telling the truth.
If I do not get enough votes to win however I will still be here quietly doing what I believe to be right for my son and others like him.
It is a struggle I can’t and won’t ever walk away from.
If you want to vote for IBA click on the link, scroll down to Health and Social Care Award, select IBA by clicking on it and press blue vote button at the bottom of page.