Autism and Humanity - Understanding ASD

I am 46, single female with no kids. I find loud noises and shopping centres extremely stressful. Then you add small children having tantrums and I find the experience completely. intolerable.

Melanie Doheny
Wild Horse FM, Yarraman

Mentor: Chloe Collins

Why can’t parents just bloody-well deal out some discipline and consider those around them? I just don’t understand why they just can’t control their children and stop giving in to the tantrums and drama. Seriously, just shut up!

Asperger’s, I mean really what is that? A type of green stalky vegetable?

Well that’s what I thought until I began helping at a charity called Bellamour west of the regional town of Toowoomba in South East Queensland.

Bellamour provides equine and farm based therapy for people with autism. During 2013, I was employed by Bellamour to help secure funding for a sensory garden and infrastructure to facilitate the equine therapy programs. This was when I realised that I had absolutely no idea what AUTSIM was. Not only that, I completely underestimated the stress that accompanied parenting a child with autism.

Autism isn’t an intellectual disability and not a mental health issue. It is an extremely complex disorder that affects many aspects of how a person with autism’s brain works. I don’t think autism is a disability. The disability lies in how we treat those with autism.

The journey of the last 3 months in making this documentary has been one of great personal growth. I also now understand better why I find loud noises and shopping centres extremely stressful. But that is story for another time!

Treena Brown, CEO Bellamour and Friend
Karen Illife – Volunteer at Bellamour and Mother of two children with Autism
Dylan – VO talent
James Illife – Son of Karen, and future General Manager of Bellamour
Audrey – my trusty 4WD Landcruiser



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