When I wake up at 3am, my deepest worry is about our Max, our wonderful son who is now 16 with Autism and a complex language disability, and what his life will be like when we’re dead.
Who will look after him the way we do?
Who will advocate for him the way we do?
Who will love him the way we do?
Most of all we want to be confident that he has a place where he will truly belong. Our children deserve a place where they belong just like everyone else. To achieve this, we need to work together to modify things a bit so that our communities have the capacity to create true belonging. In that way, our communities can authentically ‘do inclusion’. Not say it, not ‘policy’ for it but live it.
Because what I’ve realized recently, is that belonging is a human right - it’s not a privilege nor a lifestyle decision. It’s this belief that underpins and drives all our thinking within GingerCloud Foundation. Someone asked me recently what does GingerCloud (as opposed to one of our programs like the MRP) do?
GingerCloud agitates for inclusion in established communities by creating shared value.
We share with the world how amazing young people like Max are and simultaneously we help communities experience the value that inclusion brings. When we create and reciprocate real value, we are on our way to building a world where Max and other girls, boys and young adults with Autism, Aspergers and learning and perceptual disabilities feel safe, experience success and are understood.
When that happens, our children know that they belong.
So from our family to yours, thank you for listening to our stories, for caring about children and for sharing our dreams. As parents, we have four decades left to create a world where Max will be able to live his best life, surrounded by the best people and we hope some of those people will be you.
We are so grateful that you are coming in this journey with us and we know together we can create the world of our dreams.
Thank you from the Elliott family.