What drove me to take part in volunteering

Martine is a volunteer with the Volunteers for people with Autism (VA) association for the Gard region. She tells us about how she became a volunteer.

Martine, volunteer with the Volunteers for people with Autism (VA) association

"As the mother of a 28 year old son with autism, I understand the problems and difficulties experienced by families. When my son was young, it was really difficult. The first problem was finding a doctor who was able to make a diagnosis, as without that there was no adapted care (...). Finally, after lots of research, we found a neuropsychiatrist, a paediatrician specialised in autism and multiple disabilities. Our son was able to join IME, make huge steps and learn to read and write. He now loves regional and foreign languages. I also understand what it is like to be rejected by society, being excluded from school (very painful), isolation, unkind words, a disapproving look when your child starts to shout and discouragement.

All this encouraged me to help powerless parents, to listen to them and help them with complicated procedures which are often unsuccessful. I left Franche-Comté, I am currently the VA regional delegate for the Gard region and I am also part of the Sésame Autisme Gard section.

Parents of children with autism feel like they are living in a different world - they need your help to enter society.
"

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