Parents of children with a disability want to belong

Kelly Dick speaks out about the difficulty of raising children with autism in new film.
Kelly Dick speaks out about the difficulty of raising children with autism in new film. Scott Powick

MANY parents wouldn't fear something as trivial as going to the shops with their family but for parents of children with a disability, everyday luxuries don't come as easy.

Community organisation Social Futures has created a short video about the importance of showing compassion to families of children with disabilities, especially in public places.

Tweed mother-of-four Kelly Dick features in the film, titled The Belonging Project, and said she hoped people would be more accepting of public outbursts from children with disabilities.

"The video tells of a short story of one time when I was in the shops with my kids and one of them has an aggression disorder which makes him do socially unacceptable things,” Ms Dick said.

"I know how his neurology works and I know of things that I have to do and can do to correct it but other people would tell me I should just give him a smack.”

Ms Dick said she often felt embarrassed by how she thought other people perceived her children, three of which have been diagnosed with autism.

"If they start doing things in a public place I would grab the kids, grab my shopping and run,” she said.

"One time a woman just came up and put her hand on my shoulder and said 'you're doing a good job' and that difference was just huge for me.”

Social Futures officer Heather Tannock said it was important to acknowledge the hard work of families supporting children with disability.

"The film can really help people think again about the small things we can do,” Ms Tannock said.

"Even a smile in a supermarket to show your support and understanding when someone's child is not having a good day.”

The short film will be played at the Tweed Access and Inclusion Awards, hosted by the Tweed Shire Council on November 30 at the Tweed Civic Centre.

The Tweed Access and Inclusion Awards coincide with the International Day of People with Disability.

Topics:  international day of people with disability social futures tweed shire council

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