Saturday, 20 May 2017

Fighting with Autism- Strong, Autistic, Female & Empowered (SAFE)

Over autism awareness and acceptance month, huge onus is placed upon the youngsters who along with their families are beginning their journey on the spectrum, huge leaps are made in these realms, sometimes frustrating as it sounds it is a case of "one step forwards and three steps back", this is the ideal time for people to share their experiences with emphasis is put on awareness campaigns and rightly so, by removing the barriers it enriches us all to accept everyone irrespective of how different they may be.
Yes it is a month of heightened awareness, but for those on the spectrum and their loved ones it still leaves a further 11 months where the battle for acceptance rumbles on.

Depending where you are in the world the statistic varies, one country will say 1 in 100 people are on the spectrum, another will say its 1 in 68.
Frightening isn't it thinking that the difference in the percentages vary so massively and that all depends on what country you reside in, but then if you were take either one of those numbers and divide it by the worlds population the figure is startling to say the least, if 2 of the worlds leading countries in autism diagnosis have a difference in percentage, then look at the global statistics with some nations still being in the dark ages without adequate access for people to get a diagnosis let alone access to the services required that can make the world of difference to the person and to their families.
Then you have the varying levels of autism, as it is a spectrum that covers many complex conditions, so no 2 cases are ever truly the same, you often get to hear of those who excel in a certain subject or speciality, but on the other hand there are cases where every day is a battle, not just to get additional support required but also against bigotry and misunderstanding, as Autism doesn't have a look it is often misunderstood and misinterpreted by still many people despite awareness drives and campaigns, awareness is one thing acceptance is another thing entirely.

One of the core groups that seems to slip beneath the radar are the ladies who are on the autistic spectrum, although one of the most celebrated and recognised people on the spectrum is Dr Temple Grandin, a world renowned professor of animal science, author and many other accolades including an entry as being one of the worlds top 100 influential people by times Magazine in 2010, and in her early years had to battle daily against bullying with the persistent  name calling of  " tape recorder"  called owing to her repetitive speech,
Dr Grandin did not receive a formal diagnosis of being on the spectrum allegedly until she was in her forties.
The incredible part is that you have someone with a what is often described as a social interaction disability, has gone on to  be recognised for taking the feeling of animals into consideration and her theory now put into practice around the world.

With that in mind and the importance of female role models within the autism community, we have asked ambassadors from around the globe who are Strong, Autistic, Female and Empowered to give an insight into what autism means to them and importantly what if any changes they would like to see occur in regards to the support and assistance that is received.
What we are hearing of however are that cases of the females on the autistic spectrum being under represented, and often without support in daily life.
and with that in mind we have launched the Fighting For Autism -S.A.F.E initiative.
We have been fortunate enough to have some incredible ambassadors from around the globe, some of whom are female and are on the spectrum themselves, so they are more than aware of the challenges that are faced.

What makes the SAFE initiative different?
The reason behind the SAFE initiative is to give females on the spectrum a voice, also to heighten awareness and acceptance, by asking females on the spectrum to share their stories, and step forward not just as positive role models for those on the spectrum but for females of all ages,
Chloe Spiteri:
Freestyle Wrestler, Mixed Martial Artist, Teacher
Chloe is a Fighting For Autism, Fighter Ambassador who resides in the United Kingdom.
Chloe is multi time national champion and Commonwealth competitor in Freestyle wrestling and an aspiring mixed martial artist, aside from her achievements in sport, Chloe is also a teacher, she is renowned for giving inspiring speeches and insights on life as a female on the spectrum and the challenges that come with it.
Claire Smith.
Boxer, Mixed Marital Artist, Mother 
Claire is a Fighting For Autism, Fighter Ambassador who resides in the United Kingdom.
Claire is champion martial artist and Boxer who also is an amazing mum, dedicating her time between training and bringing up a child, Claire has also written some absolutely outstanding blogs on her experiences of being on the autistic spectrum, Claire has avidly been involved in assisting Fighting For Autism in the UK.
Serena DeJesus
Mixed Martial Artist, Writer  
Serena is Fighting For Autism Fighter Ambassador who resides in the USA.
Serena is a champion Mixed Martial Artist and an outstanding writer whose is also a regular attendee on podcasts in the USA.
Serena's insight into Autism is outstanding, as she explains in a way that both people on and off the autistic spectrum can relate to and understand, explaining her own experiences with passion for autism awareness and acceptance.
These are 3 outstanding young ladies who are carving their way in being role models to people both on and off the autistic spectrum, we know there are a lot more females who definitely have a story to tell and we would like to hear from them, importantly we would like to build a network and show that not only is it ok to talk about experiences of being on the autistic spectrum, but also to highlight the obstacles that are faced and how some remarkable people have overcome them and are thriving.
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1 comment:

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