The Beginning of the Flag Raisings in Ontario

My daughter was diagnosed when she was almost 3. Through our own challenges I struggled with how people viewed her. There was many comments from family, teachers, etc. saying “she doesn’t look autistic”. I knew I had to do something to promote awareness about autism and how it is different from one person to the next.

In 2012 I realized World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD) was April 2, and that this was my chance to bring awareness. I contacted my city council members and mayor and they agreed to raise an autism awareness flag. Now I needed to find a flag, I began calling every agency I could trying to find an autism flag, no one had one. I ended up paying to get one made. My Union OPSEU local 151, my aunt and myself covered the cost of the flag.

I called our newspaper, our MP, our MPP and gathered local families to come for flag raising. We made our paper, It was an amazing day with tremendous support from our very own little city of St. Thomas, Ontario. We continue to raise my daughters flag every WAAD in our town.

We are glad the province has taken this on but ask you not forget the little town who started this imitative by supporting one little girl and her family who want to make a difference.

By Shari in St. Thomas

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