Stronger Together 2022

A young autistic man who has just won a business award is one of the guest speakers at the Stronger Together Conference being held at Castle Hill RSL on August 20th.

Organised by the Fit Kidz Foundation, the free 1 day conference is for parents and carers of children with neuro-diversity and aims to break down the isolation that many parents of children with specialised needs feel.

Randa Habelrih and her son Richard founded Autism MATES a not-for profit Facebook page that focuses on empowerment.

Richard’s new business venture, Freckly Faces, makes handmade chocolates with sprinkles and has just won a Best Online Business Award.

Randa said it was an emotional moment.: “My emotion stemmed from being in awe of how far he had come from that little boy who struggled with literally everything, including speaking (he was non-verbal in his early years) even walking was a challenge.”

Richard started making chocolate Freckly Faces at home during the 2021 lockdown and with his parents help began to sell them online. The online business has taken off and their aim is to employ more young people on the autism spectrum.

Jo Abi, keynote speaker, will be talking about preparing life for her neuro divergent sons, Giovanni and Philip.

Speaking at a forum last year for Autism Awareness Australia she said: “The journey is so fluid and the goal posts are continually moving. Your circle becomes very small”.

The single mother-of-three is a senior writer and presenter at 9Honey. Her advocacy work focuses on autism, carers, and youth mental health. She was awarded a Diploma of children’s Literature in 2020 and is currently completing a Bachelor of Child Psychology and Social Science at a Macquarie University.

Speaker Sandy Golder, co-founder of the Kindship group, will talk about cultivating support networks. Her daughter Imogen is Autistic, has ADHD and an intellectual disability.

“For me, my journey as a mother of a daughter with autism has been a quest for connection. A search for people who understand us, for people that can support us and for people who accept us without judgement.”

She says the passion to find a connection with other like-minded parents resulted in the social networking Kindship app for parents and carers of people with a disability which she started with a trio of mothers who shared her dream.

As well as inspiring speakers the aim of the conference is to connect parents and carers.

The afternoon session will be taken up with panel discussion.

Fit Kidz Service Director Ellen Witzlsperger said: “Part of our mission is to build a community of parents and carers who can support each other through their journey of having a neuro-diverse child in their family.

“A lot of the time they feel isolated, they don’t have people to connect with that understand their journey and it can impact on their own mental health.”

Organisers are still looking for $500 table sponsors to enable 10 people per table to attend the conference free.

So far sponsors have covered the cost of 14 out of 20 tables.

The Fit Kidz Foundation is a not-for-profit Early Intervention Service which supports children with Autism or other Developmental Disabilities, their families and the local community.

To find out more visit www.fitkidzfoundation.org.au To sponsor a table events.humanitix.com/ stronger-together-sponsorship. The event’s Facebook page is: www.facebook.com/ StrongerTogetherEmpoweringYourJourney

For anyone wanting to register for a table email [email protected]

Stronger Together Conference

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