Topics:  autism, queensland conservatorium of music

Fundraising with autism support

Doug Edwards has moved to Hervey Bay to give his autistic daughter, Indigo an education with AEIOU.
Doug Edwards has moved to Hervey Bay to give his autistic daughter, Indigo an education with AEIOU. Valerie Horton

WITH his star rising in the music world, Doug Edwards was forced to make a decision: trade in his guitar to better support his autistic daughter, or hang onto it.

The year had begun well with Doug studying at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, his dream course.

In May, more good news as he released his highly anticipated debut album and begun accepting bookings for a much-awaited tour.

He had already played at the Blues and Roots festival and Scorcher Fest promoting the album.

The happily married dad had one daughter and another child was about to be born, life was perfect, or so he thought.

What he didn't know was his two-year-old daughter, Indigo, was about to be diagnosed with autism and it would change his life.

"We found out when Indigo was quite young," Doug said.

"Children with autism attach themselves to people - she attached herself to me, so I became her primary carer."

Doug and wife, Korinna, started researching Indigo's condition and decided the best place she could get her treatment was at Hervey Bay AEIOU.

The school supports children with autism by helping them with emotional and communication problems.

"Most of the other AEIOUs around Queensland had long waiting lists and we could get Indigo into Hervey Bay straight away - she is my child (and) I wasn't going to wait," he said.

"There is nothing else like these centres anywhere. They provide services that didn't exist before."

In recent months Doug has taken Indigo to the centre in preparation for attending classes next year, because autistic children need routine.

When she starts at the centre in 2012 Doug will pick up his guitar again, and begin raising funds for the autism charity.

"All the proceeds from my album sales and concerts will go towards helping the centre," he said.



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