An Autism Apparel Line Fuelled By Passion And Fear
I've always had a very deep connection with individuals living with a disability. I know that this stems from having an older brother that was born with Spina Bifida. Being in a wheelchair, there were always stares from other people and extra attention towards him growing up. I don't mean that in a negative way. Life was just different from my other friends families. And I really loved it. There was so much love in our home.
I guess you could say that I was shown compassion and empathy for a person with a disability from a young age. Compassion was never taught to me, rather it was a learned trait which were shown by my parents. They were so kind, caring and loving. They made sure my brother was given every opportunity that the rest of us kids had. Sports, school, you name it. His disability was never a roadblock in what my parents wanted him to have in life. Did he have his struggles? Of course he did. One thing that I admire from him most is that he has never complained about his disability.
We didn't have a lot of money growing up but our house always felt so full. Full of life and love. When I got older, I started my own life and family when I met my husband. I never really knew what I wanted to be in my life career-wise, but I always knew I wanted to be a mom. It's been the hardest and best journey in my life.
When our daughter was diagnosed with Autism, I remember hearing those words from the developmental paediatrician like they were in slow motion. It felt like the word "autism" was in large bold writing as a screenshot in my head. I can still feel that day. That feeling like life is now completely different and not what we thought it would be. Every fear rang through me like waves. I didn't even know what Autism was aside from a high level.
I have learned so much over the years about autism. The thing I have learned the most about is myself. Has the journey been hard? Incredibly. Has the journey been rewarding? More than I could ever explain.
There has been so much misinformation about autism. There is so much more that we need to educate the world about autism awareness and inclusion. There is a huge lack of services and supports for individuals with autism. It always comes down to a lack of funding funding. I've found myself struggling over the years in how I could get my voice heard as an autism parent and advocate with so many systemic issues and misconceptions about autism. I am fearful of the future when I am no longer around to be there for her. This is why I started The Inclusion Project. I want to see people around the community wearing our autism shirts and apparel to start conversations. I want autism to be celebrated and communities to become more inclusive. I want a mother that feels alone to see an autism shirt at a grocery store and know she's supported.
I'm an autism mom in Winnipeg (Canada) that wants our voices heard in the community. A mom that wants the world to celebrate our neurodiverse children. To educate others to teach their kids at a young age that being different is ok. To be a voice and advocate to others that don't have one. This line was built from both passion for these incredible individuals and also fear, for the day that I'm not around to be their voice.