This Murray Bridge mum wants to make sure no child with autism gets left behind
Catherine Thompson will take part in the Walk for Autism during the next fortnight.
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Catherine Thompson wants kids with autism to be more easily accepted in our community – and she’s willing to put in the miles to make it happen.
Starting this weekend, she has committed to walking at least 10,000 steps each day for eight days for the Walk for Autism.
The event raises funds for Autism Spectrum Australia, which supports people living on the autism spectrum and contributes to public education and research.
Ms Thompson said she had been motivated by her son’s difficult experiences.
“I see what Trevor goes through at school: bullying, he never gets picked for things...” she said.
“I don’t want to see other kids go through it, so the more we can do to educate people (the better).”
Parents just needed to ask their children to be more patient with classmates with autism, she said, and to understand that they might have trouble socialising.
Noisy or crowded environments could be really stressful for the one in 70 Australians who fell somewhere on the autism spectrum.
That meant Trevor felt more comfortable playing Pokemon in his bedroom that being out and about; but it didn’t mean he wanted to be alone all the time.
“For me it’s about getting parents to educate their children,” Ms Thompson said.
“Trevor just wants one or two real friends, but (other children) just don’t understand him.
“He’s pretty full-on, but once you know how to deal with him it’s easier.”
Ensuring no children with autism get left behind in our community will be a challenge.
In the meantime, at least, as a trolley collector at Coles, Ms Thompson shouldn’t have any trouble hitting her steps goals.
“On off-days I’ll have to walk down to the mall, down to the main street – we often do that with the kids anyway,” she said.
“At work I can do up to 15,000 steps a day anyway … so I might as well raise some money while I’m doing it.”
More information: www.autismspectrum.org.au.
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Awesome effort well done. Yes so true no autistic child should be excluded from activities or picked on because they are different to other students. Its hard enough for them to just get through each day at school with all the distractions, extra noise and pressure without all the drama of other students bullying them. All teachers need to be more educated in every school and students need to be held accountable table for their behaviour.