Autism awareness talk held

2017-08-31 06:01
PHOTO: omega moagiSpeaker at the event Shellique Carby-Bird (left), husband Frederick and Loretta Joffe.

PHOTO: omega moagiSpeaker at the event Shellique Carby-Bird (left), husband Frederick and Loretta Joffe.

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SPEAKER and journalist Shellique Carby-Bird held an autism awareness talk at Mbango Valley on Friday.

Carby-Bird, also diagnosed autistic, said the purpose of the talk was to touch people’s lives.

“As someone who has experienced the disease first-hand I disagree with people who do not want to acknowledge the fact that people with autism suffer, we suffer a lot.”

She said people living with autism suffer a myriad problems relating to health, social coherence and psyche.

“I was bullied and harassed throughout school and although I now hold a degree in journalism and anthropology, I battled throughout university because I also had a learning disability, and lecturers would not allow me an extension I needed for my exams.

“The problems and judgments continued throughout my working life when my bosses could not understand that I needed to be in a secluded space to be able to function,” she said.

Carby-Bird, who grew up in Hillcrest, but now lives in Pietermaritzburg, said her motivation to persevere came from her hunger for independence.

“I believe in a holistic approach and decided not to rely on pills and medication alone as the solution [to my autism],” said Carby-Bird.

Despite her disability Carby-Bird has managed to hold several positions at the Association for Autism and Autism South Africa (ASA).

She also wrote for UK-based autism newsletter, Aspirations, was a sub-editor at South Coast Fever, DisAbility Connexion and is now a content developer for an international company.

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