News

Mum keen to shine light on autism myths

Mary West from Granville has three autistic children in her family of nine kids.
Mary West from Granville has three autistic children in her family of nine kids. Alistair Brightman

MARYBOROUGH mum Mary West knows better then most the struggles faced by those living with autism spectrum disorders.

Today is World Autism Awareness Day and with her father, brother, husband Bryan and three of their nine children having the disorder, Mrs West sees it daily.

"There's no cure for autism," she said.

"It's not a disease, it's a disorder you can't rewire the brain."

In 2008 Mr and Mrs West founded Camp Autism, an organisation that offers getaways for families with ASD.

"We just wanted families not to have that isolation," Mrs West said.

"We don't have a cut-off age, they don't stop being autistic and they still need the support."

The group holds different camps throughout the year and now have about 400 members in Queensland and New South Wales.

"There is support out there, people just need to find it," Mrs West said.

She said getting an autism diagnosis can be challenging for families, a long wait for those in the public system and expensive for those who see healthcare professionals privately.

There are also myths and stigma surrounding ASD.

"They're not naughty and it's not bad parenting," Mrs West said.

"There are lots of people who think with a bit more discipline they would become un-autistic."

Autism spectrum disorder

  • A lifelong disability affecting about one in 100 Australians, or 230,000 people.
  • The word spectrum reflects the different challenges that people with autism face and the degree to which they may be affected.
  • The main areas of difficulty are in social communication, social interaction and restricted or repetitive behaviours and interests.

Topics:  autism, granville, maryborough, mum




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

THE EXPERT: Stop judging working mothers

SUPER MUMS: Being a working mums comes down to perfecting time management.

"WORKING for money is all right; so is working because you want to.”

OPINION: How to prepare your child for day care

Your kids will love childcare, but it may take some adjusting.

GETTING your child ready for day care is vital.

MUMS' TOP 5: 'Musts' to have on your childcare checklist

SOME FALL SHORT: Organisations that train childcare workers will be subjected to extra audits.

SENDING your child off to day care can be daunting and confusing.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Hervey Bay destroys Brothers to book finals spot

LEADER: James Hickey kicked seven majors as his Hervey Bay Bombers destoryed Brothers Bulldogs by 131 points. The win virtually guarantees the Bombers’ place in the finals.

The Bombers out-matched, out-enthused, and out-played Brothers.

12-year-old girl airlifted after horror house fire

TRAGEDY: A young girl is fighting for life following a fire which ripped through this house on Noosa Rd at the Monkland in the early hours of this morning.

A 12-year-old Gympie girl is fighting for life

OPINION: Councillor bickering bad for the region

Fraser Coast Chronicle's Hayden Johnson has received the title of 2014's APN Editorial Awards' Best Photography by a reporter. Photo: Valerie Horton / Fraser Coast Chronicle

Mayor Chris Loft and councillor Stuart Taylor have traded complaints

Latest deals and offers

Storyteller Kim Michelle Toft

Storyteller Kim Michelle Toft at P.L. Travers House in Maryborough with young listeners (L) Alexis Taylor,5, Max Kummerfeld,6, Lacey,6, and Xander Cook,8, Oliver Taylor,5, Holly Lovelock,7, ryan Ellis,8, and Amelia Lingard,7.Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle

Storyteller Kim Michelle Toft at P.L. Travers House in Maryborough with young...

Vivid timelapse

Screenshot from timelapse of Sydney's Vivid Festival

This timelapse shows Sydney's Vivid Festival

WIDE BAY LEAGUE: Cameron Hanrahan talks about United Warriors' win

WIDE BAY LEAGUE: Cameron Hanrahan talks about United Warriors' 4-3 win over Sunbury...

Three bedroom, 1100sqm block: Is this Qld's cheapest home?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward

PROPERTY BOOM: Coast prices set to skyrocket

Like other areas in south-east Queensland, the Sunshine Coast is at the start of the upturn on the property clock.

Values predicted to rise 25-33%