The Eden family shares their story about autism - Autism Spectrum Australia

Uploaded by AutismSpectrumAust on 29.02.2012

The Eden family shares their story about autism– Autism Spectrum Australia
[background music starts] Presenter: On the surface the Eden family
seems like your typical loving, outgoing family however their real story is not so typical.
Their six year old son Will has Asperger’s, an autism spectrum disorder. Research shows
that around 1 in 110 children have an autism spectrum disorder and it’s four times more
common in boys than in girls. Mike Eden: Everyone knows someone that is
a bit quirky, a bit off centre, who is probably somewhere on the spectrum and then they start
asking questions, then the light bulb goes off in their head and they think okay this
is a great cause and we should follow it, and spend some money on it.
Presenter: Will’s parents were always aware of his obsessive behaviour and withdrawn nature.
He was socially isolated and his tantrums were extreme, even for a toddler. Will was
diagnosed at the age of three and a half and as he got older the situations became more
difficult, particularly in public. For Mike and Karina having an answer to the challenges
Will faces in trying to make sense of his world posed even bigger questions like what
does this mean for Will? How can we help him and where do we go for support?
Mike Eden: We’ve learnt a lot about the isolation that they have and the world that
they live in. There is no empathy, sympathy, ahh no grief. They don’t think of anything
except their world and what they are thinking about so if you take them out of their environment,
take them shopping, take them to the pictures and something upsets them or puts them out
of their routine they can have a meltdown and you don’t know why.
Presenter: Mike, Karina and Will relocated from their Queensland home to Albury in NSW
when they discovered the Aspect Riverina School, one of the many specialist education programs
for children like Will, run by Not for Profit Autism Spectrum Australia. The new school
offers Will a brighter future and provides support for the Eden family as they move forward.
Mike Eden: Since we have been here at Aspect um what 18months now we have;t had a phone
call to come and pick him up. The teachers there just know what they are doing, know
how to handle when he has a problem, when he has a meltdown, ah when he becomes inconsolable,
when he is in his own world they can handle it. It’s just changed our lives.
Karina: I think socially get along with other kids as well, cause he used to be so scared
of other kids, even if they bumped him he would just cringe and have a meltdown. But
now um Aspects actually taught him how to deal with, deal with other kids. They taught
him that when he was bumped that’s okay and that’s a way to play.
Presenter: Mike and his family are great ambassadors in the effort to garner community awareness
and organise fundraisers to ensure these important programs continue to offer education and support.
Mike Eden: The more money you spend on these kids now the less money you will spend in
the future. We couldn’t hold a job, we couldn’t be at work without Aspect and in the future
we’re seeing ourselves as having to build a granny flat down the back of the house because
he will never be independent if he was in mainstream. If he becomes independent he can
get a job, he can socially adapt to certain situations. We won’t have to go on the dole
to look after him and the Government won’t have to spend money so these types of programmes,
the Aspect programs, teaching them how to socially adapt and get jobs is going to save
enormous amounts for the community as a whole and we get the awareness out there.
Presenter: You can make it possible for other families like Wills’ to have a brighter
future by donating online at [background music finishes]