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Living with autism

6 Jun, 2019

The co-hosts of a live show about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are hoping to create more awareness and better understanding of the complicated disorder.

Dougal Austin and Jeremy Samson, who both have ASD, are excited to bring On The Spectrum Live to The Cube Wodonga on Thursday, June 13.

Four Border experts will take to the floor for a 90-minute panel discussion followed by question time.

Experts include Paul Newcombe (Action Kids Therapy), Marlo Wild (author and parent), Louise Fifield (Table Talk Speech Pathology) and Simone Reeder (music therapist) who will discuss their roles and services in the ASD community.

Mr Austin was 12 years old when his mum met with the school principal to discuss his behaviour.

"The principal asked my mum if she had heard of Asperger's syndrome," he said.

"Mum had not heard of it before then but was told I had all the signs and symptoms.

"Mum was distraught because she thought something was severely wrong with me and was close to tears.

"She got home and along with dad did some research and found out it wasn't as bad as they thought and got us on to a speech pathologist and a psychologist etc."

Mr Austin currently works for Westside Talent, an entertainment agency supplying all styles of entertainment and speakers for clubs, hotels, corporate events and public functions.

Four years ago, Mr Austin and Mr Samson came together to host a fortnightly community radio show raising awareness about autism spectrum in the wider community.

The show still airs on 94.1FM 3WBC on the fourth Sunday of the month from 10.30am.

"The radio show features news and interviews with specialists and parents of children on the spectrum and after four years of being a radio show we have now turned it into a live stage show," Mr Austin said.

Wodonga will be the third live stage show on the tour, following on from successful shows in Kilmore and Bendigo.

Mr Austin is encouraging anyone with an interest in the complicated disorder to come along.

"We want families to come along, listen and ask questions," he said.

"You will get to know each panellist, their background and the work that they do in the community and the benefits of their services towards the local ASD community.

"We will then have a Q and A with the audience and then spend the second half of the show discussing hot topics relating to Asperger's and autism that has been in the news over the last few weeks."

What: On The Spectrum Live
Where: The Cube Wodonga
When: Thursday, June 7
Time: 7.30pm to 9pm
Tickets: $25, groups 4+ $21.50, members $20, member group 4+ $18