Melanie Roper (left) and Liza Kennedy want to help Fraser Coast residents, and in particular parents, find out more about autism.
Melanie Roper (left) and Liza Kennedy want to help Fraser Coast residents, and in particular parents, find out more about autism. Alistair Brightman

Autism expo brings awareness

THREE Fraser Coast women have come together to provide a non-threatening environment for people wanting to learn more about autism.

Liza Kennedy, Melanie Roper and Rosie Ning have introduced autism expos to the region to make it easier for residents to find information on the condition.

Regional specialists, including Rodney Nembach of Nembach Psychological Services Hervey Bay, have come on board, providing free advice.

Two expos were held last year and the next will be on Wednesday with Hervey Bay RSL donating free use of Hervey House.

Ms Kennedy said the events were about providing a non-imposing service where people could have a friendly chat to specialists.

“It’s always been frustrating when I couldn’t put my finger on an answer straight away,” said Ms Kennedy, who has autism in her family.

“The expos will provide access to information without it being so much hard work.

“The services around here have been very enthusiastic in providing voluntary support with the expos,” Ms Roper said.

The women are trying to provide a first step for parents and carers who are unsure whether their child or family member of any age has autism. The idea is to empower parents and put them in touch with families in similar situations.

“Having lived with autism for 10 years I have found the frustrations with trying to find the appropriate information and help has driven me to create these forums. I’m a parent autism advocate and merely providing access through these expos.”

Next week’s Autism Expo will run from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.

To find out more contact Liza on lizamareekennedy@bigpond.com.



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