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Walk With Me to raise autism awareness

Walk With Me
On Saturday, 7 August, Sonya and Judy invite community members of the Bundaberg Region to join them in the Walk With Me event at Gin Gin State School. Photo: 2019 walk by Barb Ballinger and Emma Fenn

A pair of passionate mothers are hosting a Walk With Me community as part of their mission to inform the community about all aspects of autism.

Sonya Olsen and Judy Fenn both have children with autism, and they believe it is important to advocate for those who can’t always advocate for themself, and that’s why they have co-founded the Walk With Me incorporation.

On Saturday, 7 August, Sonya and Judy invite community members of the Bundaberg Region to join them in the Walk With Me event at Gin Gin State School.

Their goal is to help people learn about autism in a fun, relaxed environment, and the theme this year will be communication and expression.

For Sonya, her personal journey into the world of autism started after the birth of her “miracle baby” Daly was diagnosed on his third birthday.

“We tried to have another baby for 10 years and when it didn’t happen, we gave all of our baby stuff away,” Sonya said.

“Then one day I started craving salt and vinegar chips, and I knew I was pregnant.

“And I believe it happened for a reason – so that I could advocate for autism and advocate for Daly.”

Walk With Me
Walk With Me is a community event to help raise awareness about autism. Photo: Daly Olsen with his current teacher aide.

Sonya said as a teacher aide she knew about autism, but never really understood it until she walked in the shoes of a mother of a child with autism.

And now her miracle baby Daly has given her the strength to advocate for every child with autism, and the Walk With Me name is very special to her.

“Our organisation is called Walk With Me, the name came from a very special time for us, as it was actually Daly’s first sentence,” she said.

“He was three years old, when he all of a sudden said ‘walk with me’, and from then it was his way of communicating to us – and now it is perfect.”

Sonya and Daly, and Judy and her 14-year-old daughter Emma, will all attend the Walk With Me, where there will be face painting, alpacas on display and a coffee van to keep the community going as they walk to help raise awareness.

For more information phone Sonya 0427 137 885 or Judy 0414 574 149, or join the Facebook group.

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