Randa, Rich and Social Inclusion
One of the very first stories we added to MyCareSpace was about Randa Habelrih and her son Richard. Richard has Autism and spent 13 years at school with no friends, being bullied and socially isolated.
That was over a year ago and it's true to say that our respect and admiration for Randa has grown ten fold. We stand in awe of her vision to speak up against the exclusion that some children with Autism face in schools, writing a book ('Dealing with Autism') and creating the 'School Mates' program which is being trialled in 3 schools. It has been a very busy year for Randa!
This month, we had the priviledge of introducing Randa and Richard to a local high school in Sydney where together they spoke about social inclusion (during social inclusion week). The result was absolutely incredible. Teachers, parents and children were overwhelmed by both Randa and Richard. Everyone has a struggle and they both shared theirs from a mother’s and then son’s perspective. You could have heard a pin drop.
Randa demonstrates the importance of setting your own standards, by not allowing yourself or loved ones to be limited by other peoples views and the power of unconditional love.
Richard’s sense of humor combined with his honesty about desperately wanting to make friends at school and the loneliness he experienced, meant the audience was laughing one minute and then I for one was crying the next minute.
See a snippet here: