Autism and Humanity - Understanding ASD

Autism and Humanity - Understanding ASD (Wild Horse FM, Yarraman)

CBAA Web Articles., 18th September 2014

By Melanie Doheny


I am 46, single female with no kids. I find loud noises and shopping centres extremely stressful. Then you add small children having tantrums and I find the experience completely intolerable. 

Why can’t parents just bloody-well deal out some discipline and consider those around them? I just don’t understand why they just can’t control their children and stop giving in to the tantrums and drama. Seriously, just shut up!

Asperger’s, I mean really what is that? A type of green stalky vegetable? 

Well that’s what I thought until I began helping at a charity called Bellamour west of the regional town of Toowoomba in South East Queensland.

Bellamour provides equine and farm based therapy for people with autism. During 2013, I was employed by Bellamour to help secure funding for a sensory garden and infrastructure to facilitate the equine therapy programs. This was when I realised that I had absolutely no idea what AUTSIM was. Not only that, I completely underestimated the stress that accompanied parenting a child with autism.

Autism isn’t an intellectual disability and not a mental health issue. It is an extremely complex disorder that affects many aspects of how a person with autism's brain works. I don’t think autism is a disability. The disability lies in how we treat those with autism.

The journey of the last 3 months in making this documentary has been one of great personal growth. I also now understand better why I find loud noises and shopping centres extremely stressful. But that is story for another time!

Treena Brown, CEO Bellamour and Friend
Karen Illife – Volunteer at Bellamour and Mother of two children with Autism
Dylan – VO talent
James Illife – Son of Karen, and future General Manager of Bellamour
Audrey – my trusty 4WD Landcruiser

Click here for more information on ASD and Bellamour


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The 12 pieces made for the inaugural Documentary & Features Competition, run by the CBAA and the CMTO, are ready for airtime. These will be available to stations for local broadcast through the CRN programming service in October and November.


New Beginnings, is a twelve-part, six-hour long-form community radio documentary that explores the personal stories of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees in Canberra and Australia.


My Voice, My Ability, My Rights is just one of multiple shows at CHY FM 104.1 led by young people with disabilities.