Follow Friday!

My Follow Friday Series is something I only started last week in a bid to bring back some positivity to social media. Every Friday I want to share people or accounts or businesses who I find inspiring, talented or creative. It will include a wide range of people from bloggers and makeup artists to artists, poets, and musicians. As well as everyone in between…anyone really who use their social media platform in a positive way.
This week my Follow Friday is all about an incredible Autisim Awareness Snapchat Account called, Through their Eyes. It only began last week and already is raising huge awareness. Different people come on and share their experiences of Autism. It could be someone who has a son or daughter, a brother or sister. It has really opened my eyes as to what exactly Autism is and how it effects people. I think this account teaches empathy, which we as a society absolutely need more of. It helps people have a better understanding, be less judgemental and offers support to those going through similar situations.
2. Follow Friday

What is Autism?

From my understanding Autism is a neuro-developmental disability that affects how the brain develops in areas like communication and social interaction.  People with autism have trouble expressing themselves and forming relationships with people.  Their ability to make sense of the world around them is also affected. According to the Irish Autism Prevalence study carried out in conjunction with DCU, the current rate of Autism in Ireland is 1 in 100.

So, going by that stat, there are a lot of people Autism affects not only directly but also indirectly. Raising awareness and helping people understand is nothing but a positive step. The brains behind the “Through their Eyes” Campaign is Nicole Duggan. She has a blog called, “My Boy Blue” that she began in January of 2017, and her Facebook page has just over 25,000 followers => My Boy Blue

I had contacted Nicole and expressed how I wished to feature her and her wonderful work as part of my Follow Friday. We had a great chat and I’d like to share with you what she had to say…

Her motivation for starting the awareness campaign…

“My motivation was definitely my little boy Riley. Riley is 4 years old and he was diagnosed with Autism when he was 2 years and 9 months. When Riley was diagnosed I realised that people do not understand Autism. My goal was to teach one person, to reduce the stigma surrounding autism and to make life easier for my little boy. So My Boy Blue was created in 2017 and has grown into something amazing.”
3. Follow Friday
Nicole and Riley

Her goal…

“My goal is to normalise the word autism. To reduce the comments and the stares and to make the world that my little boy is growing up in more inclusive and accepting. Our children are just like any other child their age, they are simply wired differently. If we could see the world through their eyes it would be a pretty amazing place.”

Who the account is for…

“I think when I set it up it was for the people who aren’t affected by autism. To help to teach them. But it has become so much more. It has become a place to learn, and the find out more about autism. But it has also become a place of support for other parents of autistic kids. So it is definitely for everyone.”

The Importance of Autism Awareness…

“Autism awareness is so so important. Without awareness there is no acceptance. And without acceptance our kids are going to grow up in a world where they are always judged where they are always seen as the bold child or the weird child. That is not what I want for my little boy. Or any other child on the spectrum. And if we can use social media in a positive way like this, why not use it for awareness.”
I’d like to say a huge thanks to Nicole for taking the time to chat with me and I wish her all the best with her campaign on raising awareness for Autism. Make sure you give her a little follow and try see the world through their eyes.
Sarah
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