I remember reading a few weeks back a newspaper column written by a mother of an autistic child.
She spoke about the many difficulties when going to the supermarket with her young son and her article really resonated with me.
Her local Sainsbury’s store read her article and as a result made a prototype trolley suitable for children with autism that features a five point harness.
Sainsbury’s in Lancaster I know has a similar trolley as I use one for Tom.
Although he can walk around Sainsbury’s he prefers to have a ride in the trolley as I think he feels safer in it and he will happily sit clutching his toy car, I always buy him a toy car for being a good boy while shopping.
I sometimes get some stares from people as I push Tom around, but I do not mind this and nor do I take offense, people are just curious, as to the casual observer Tom appears “normal’ his disability is invisible.
I think that this is why it is so very difficult for people to understand what autism is all about.
I recently stumbled across a wonderful photographer and mother of an autistic child on Facebook, Rosie Barnes who at present is running a Kickstarter campaign in order to fund the publishing of her photobook entitled, ‘Understanding Stanley. Looking Through Autism.’
Rosie too wants to raise awareness about autism and how it is an invisible disability through her photographs.
The aim of the book is to convey how autism is for the individual who is living with autism and I quote, “Understanding Stanley fills a gap.
I really want the reader to feel, not just to think”.
This is what matters most I feel, and takes me back to the people looking at Tom when I am pushing him in his trolley.
I do not mind the stares; I usually smile back at people and people smile at Tom. Many people still do not understand whet autism is so awareness really is everything.
Rosie’s book will be an opening for many people in which they will be able to gain some insight into the world of autism.
Rosie Barnes kickstarter campaign can be found here www.kickstarter.com/projects.