Last week my book “Dealing With Autism” was launched by Professor The Honourable Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO and The Minister for Ageing and Disability, the Honourable John Ajaka at Notre Dame University, Sydney. We were truly humbled by their words and support for the book and its message. However Richard’s speech was the real highlight of the evening! I’ve never been more proud, he received a standing ovation even from the dignitaries!
Richard’s high school principal, David McInnes was the M.C. for the evening, and many of Richie’s teachers were in attendance. He was so pleased with himself and very much enjoyed the accolades…he has come such a long way from our early years, who would have ever thought that he could or would deliver a speech to such an audience? Never could I have imagined back in those early years when Richard was non-verbal, non-compliant and just wanted to spin in a circle that this could be possible. I had no idea back then that there was indeed a light at the end of our autism tunnel. I have now taken time to process the magnitude of the events of that night and I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Gratitude for his teachers and therapists who were there to watch Richard shine, gratitude that the audience heard my message to be more inclusive of our children with autism, gratitude for my beautiful family; my daughter Emily who continues to amaze me every day, my husband Elias who is the rock solid foundation which supports me unfailingly, and my son Richard, who teaches us all to be better human beings.
If only I could have imagined that this is what lay ahead for us, then maybe, just maybe I would not have had so many sleepless nights!
If you would like to share Richard’s moment where he literally stole the show, here is the video replay!