Monday, 6 August 2012

Raising awareness of autism, one story at a time

Ever wanted to tell the world about your experiences with autism? AAN Ambassador Helen Kelly explains why she started her blog, mumwithoutportfolio, and what she hopes to achieve through sharing her family's story:

I started writing my blog mumwithoutportfolio in July 2011, two months after my youngest daughter Emily was diagnosed as being on the Autistic Spectrum. There were a number of reasons why I decided to write this originally it was because I felt very alone and left to understand what it all meant for my daughter and our family but I also wanted to raise awareness about Autism and what it is like trying to see the light through the tunnel. I was very surprised by peoples reaction to my daughters diagnosis which ranged from well she doesn’t look like she’s autistic to she’s not autistic she just needs to learn. It was the drive to try and change people’s opinion of children on the Autistic Spectrum that spurred me on to write my blog because I am very much of the opinion that education brings awareness.

Topics I have covered throughout my blog posts have included shopping, school, friends and the death of my dad due to lung cancer. Although the posts haven’t always been upbeat they are always a true reflection of life and honest.

I have help pages on my blog which provide a bit of information and also directs people to the NAS website this is because I would not like to give anyone the wrong information as I am not an expert in Autism but I am an expert in how autism affects my daughter and my family.

I have received comments from people who I don’t know supporting me and have recently set up a Facebook page for the blog. I also tweet my blog page under the hash tag Autism awareness and I have met many people through this.

I would encourage other ambassadors to plunge into writing a blog, it’s free you can do it when you want to and most importantly you get to raise awareness and educate people.

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