In the six years since our sons were diagnosed with ASDs, I have come into contact with a whole new set of parents - those whose children are also affected by autism and other special needs.
These people have very different parental experiences to those with 'ordinary' children. Most have experienced the disapproving looks from other parents at the school gates as their child has yet another meltdown; they have fought their way through the jungle of locating services and appropriate education for their children, often through the fog of exhaustion of worry and broken nights.
And yet, they are the most inspiring, determined and dedicated people I know. Some have taken up voluntary positions in support groups to help other, similar parents or have found other ways to use the skills they have to help bring much needed information to families coping with a life they didn't expect.
Two such people are Gillian Loughran and Mark Hayes who are the parents of a child with autism, as well as both being national award-winning journalists. They created the quarterly Autism Eye magazine in order to provide in-depth, well-researched, useful information for parents and professionals who care for children with autism.
When their son, Finn, was diagnosed with the condition they found very little information available on how to help him. They launched Autism Eye so that other parents in their position, as well as professionals, could learn much more easily about new research, treatments and therapies that could help children with autism.
As well as a quarterly magazine, Gillian and Mark also publish news and features on the Autism Eye website, which can be found at www.autismeye.com.
Subscriptions to Autism Eye are available as printed editions and digital downloads, and are priced to be affordable to parents and carers. The subscriptions page is here: www.autismeye.com/subscribe
The latest issue has a feature on autism and nutrition - a must read.
She is also an experienced broadcast and print journalist & author. Tania also runs a PR, web & social media consultancy, SocialOro Media. She is a Rare Disease & chronic pain patient advocate with Ehlers Danlos syndrome.
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