by Monique Cain
Monique Cain is the author of 6 books. Her Everyday Autism Series is highly respected by educators and carers as a resource to encourage integration and understanding. Her books for young readers share how the world is experienced by an autistic person.
Autism awareness is vital to autism families. There is so much more to autism than most people are actually aware of. The more people who know what autism entails and how it can affect them and their whole family the more supported they are in their journey.
I wrote Never Give Up as an honest and realistic account of my family’s day to day journey with autism. I wanted to demystify some of the challenges of families coping with autism as they ride the rollercoaster from diagnosis to integration.
As a mother of 2 young autistic children, I realised that sharing my struggles and learnings as we navigated early diagnosis and support was helpful to others. While I’ve written children’s books before covering how the world is experienced by a young autistic person, I’d never written about myself.
Never Give Up gave me a chance to open up about my journey. From feelings of despair to acceptance, my book reflects on the day-to-day challenges as my family found support and hope. It speaks directly to families who may also feel overwhelmed or alone in their autistic experiences.
Autism Spectrum Australia (ASPECT) estimates that around 230,000 Australians have autism. This figure may not reflect those with autistic traits who remain undiagnosed or who do not seek a diagnosis.
World Autism Awareness Day inspires us to reflect on everyone’s journey with autism. I recognise that I can help others in my situation with my book of practical tips and suggestions when dealing with the daily struggles of autism, including family and friends, or those offering education and support services.
As a parent of autistic children, I know that it really doesn’t help when people act negatively toward you or ignorantly comment or stare. Less judgement can play an integral part in everyone’s mental state and development.
Enhanced knowledge and compassion can help everyone, including autism-affected people and families, to understand that there can be reasons for behaviours and that there are lots of things you can do to help or manage them.
I’m motivated by the hope that people will love my children for who they are, autism and all. This World Autism Awareness Day I wish for more kindness, patience and understanding. Unconditional love can be a very powerful thing and I hope people will ‘never give up’ during their autism journey.
2 April 2019 is the 12th annual World Autism Awareness Day. Find out more on the United Nations website.
Never Give Up is written for parents of children who have experienced a recent diagnosis, friends and family, teachers and special needs, OTs and psychologists, staff of autism support networks who are specialised in helping people but don’t live it every day.
Where to buy: Never Give Up is released by 3MT Media and is available on the Everyday Autism Series website and selected local and specialist book stores and therapy and autism services.