Spectrum of Misconception commissioned Dublin based artist Shauna Harrison to design a T-Shirt for World Autism Awareness Day on 2nd April 2020.
We gave her the message which we wanted to send on that day, its a bold message, loud and proud.
We know that with the right support everyone can make steps forward and achieve and its is really important to me that people are aware of this.
At Zach’s first school which was the local SLD establishment the Headteacher just didn’t seem to recognise that given the right tools everyone can achieve.
They had one approach, which they didn’t always implement but that’s another story.
For the pupils who didn’t respond to that approach there was no alternative, because they had autism no thought or consideration was given to their feelings, confidence and self esteem.
If they became angry or upset as a result of being a spectator rather than a participant, they were labelled as being disruptive, challenging and difficult.
The gradual wearing down process continued until the pupil exploded and then there was no going back!
I can still remember the Head Teachers expression when I told her that Zach was very intelligent, she looked astonished and then said that everyone thought their child was intelligent in her well practised and over used way.
My rationale for not contesting this statement was that I realised that there was absolutely no point in rationalising with someone who never thought she was wrong.
I had expended lots of energy trying to get the school to be more inclusive in the way they taught and communicated.
Imagine having to expend energy trying to persuade a Severe Learning Disability School to be inclusive.
Did the school learn from their mistakes?
No, they blamed the pupil, the parents and anyone other than themselves. They seemed to think they were doing us a favour by allowing our unteachable children to attend, they weren’t going to learn anything but they might get the occasional pat on the head.
Our T-Shirt message is to let the World know that they shouldn’t and mustn’t write people who have autism off.
It’s a dream I accept, that person centred planning will become just that, and there will be needs assessments rather than resource assessments.
That each unique person will be given support which is measured, adapted to meet their needs and has really positive outcomes.
Positive outcomes mean the person is happier, less anxious, and more willing to work with the support that has helped them achieve.
The long term benefits are massive for the person, their family, the system and the exchequer.
I hope that you would like to share our message on the 2nd April, the designs are wonderful and colourful. Great to wear anyday, not just the 2nd April!
Please follow the link to order your T-Shirt.
All your orders will be packed up and posted by Jack or Zach who have autism and complex needs because they can and they will.