Two Gold Coast locals who have experienced autism-spectrum disorders in their families first-hand are helping children and parents across South East Queensland manage stress and anxiety.
To mark Autism Awareness Month (April), authors and speakers Sally Thibault and Kris Barrett, both mums of boys on the autism spectrum, will host a free event on Wednesday 18 April to help local families.
Author and Speaker Sally Thibault said one of the greatest issues for children and parents on the autism spectrum was managing anxiety.
“This Autism Awareness Month, Kris and I decided to tackle this crucial issue head-on with our free community event,” Ms Thibault said.
“We believe that if we can help families manage feelings of stress and anxiety, other therapies and interventions will be far more effective - not to mention the benefits of health and happiness to every household.
“Both Kris and I are mothers of sons affected by autism-spectrum disorders. It is one of our greatest passions to help other families affected - especially when it comes to managing stress.
“On Wednesday we will be sharing simple strategies to help both parents and children manage anxiety. We will share experiences that have made a great difference to our lives personally.
“Our event is free for the community - we want families to learn about using simple, cost-effective strategies that are proven to reduce stress and help create calming, soothing emotions.
“Our strategies are designed to help families affected across the spectrum, and they can be used for a lifetime.”
In Australia, it is estimated that about 1 in 150 people have been diagnosed with autism-spectrum disorder.
The Gold Coast event is free, but registration is essential. Families can register via the Simple Strategies for Managing Anxiety in ASD Facebook page, or online at eventbrite.com.au.
Autism spectrum disorder is a persistent developmental disorder, characterised by symptoms evident from early childhood*.
The symptoms can range on a spectrum from mild to severe, and include difficulty in social interaction, restricted or repetitive patterns of behaviour and impaired communication skills**.
Sally Thibault said Autism Awareness Month was a crucial initiative to help all Australians affected by the disease.
“It’s important that we take the time to understand this condition - that affects so many Australians - and the steps we can take to support those affected,” Ms Thibault said.
More information about Sally Thibault and her work for families affected by autism-spectrum disorder is available at sallythibault.com.au.