With the Light: Raising an Autistic Child (光とともに…〜自閉症児を抱えて〜 Hikari to Tomoni… ~Jiheishōji o Kakaete~) is a josei drama manga by Keiko Tobe. The series depicts the struggles of a young mother, Sachiko Azuma, raising her autistic son Hikaru in modern Japan.
* These books can be borrowed from Box Hill Library.
“WITH THE LIGHT” Launch at the Pines Library on 15th August, 2012
Chinese Parents Special Support Network , proudly presented the launch of a series of manga/comic called ‘With the Light’ to the community on the 15th August, 2012 at the Pines Library. The objective of this project ‘With the Light’, is to raise awareness about Autism across the community. We hope to enhance the opportunities for families and people with disabilities to be authentically included. It is our belief, that by providing the community with this manga as a visual focus, the public’s attention will be drawn to the condition as well as promoting understanding of people with autism.
The project is proudly supported by Manningham Council, Whitehorse Manningham Libraries, AMAZE , Extended Families Australia and Chinese Community Social Services Centre Inc.
The launch was a great success with over 70 guests in attendance. Guest speakers at the launch included, Councillor – Meg Downie and Deputy Mayor – Jennifer Yang from Manningham Council, Principal, teachers, students, community organizations, parents and people within the community.
The launch was begun with Cr Meg Downie speech about encouraging the communities, schools and the government to take the provided much needed support and promote awareness for individuals with Autism. Cr Jennifer Yang shared her personal story and experience- describing the struggles she faced during her pregnancy. She also offered her support to parents and positive feedback regarding the “With the Light” series.
Bulleen Heights School Representative, Cathy Fulton indicated that by having an integrated education system for students with disabilities and their mainstream peers, all children benefitted by gaining greater confidence. The speech also invited parents, raising their children
with disabilities and their mainstream peers, all children benefitted by gaining greater confidence. The speech also invited parents, raising their children with disabilities to share their personal experiences with others.
Kitty Ko from CPSN gave a brief introduction about ‘With the Light’- a Japanese manga written by Keiko Tobe, describing the journey of a mother raising a child with Autism and her struggles through the mainstream schools’ education system. This manga clearly illustrates the feelings and experiences that most family had gone through in reality. ‘With the Light’ is displayed in a user friendly format for people to understand what Autism is and to experience what the family with children with disability is going through. Kitty has also talked briefly about the Autism education campaign in Hong Kong during 2004.
Karen Campbell spoke about inclusion within the community context and related stories about her own journey with her daughter Jessica. She highlighted that, even though the law supports inclusion, it does not necessarily guarantee success. She made the observation that many parents will relate to the family in the Magna series as they struggle with facing other people’s fear, uncertainty and lack of confidence and experience in embracing difference. Karen concluded with a positive message about the value of inclusion and the factors that support inclusive practices.
Emily Ma from CPSSN closed the launch by sharing her vision and hopes for the launch, by sharing her experience as a mother of an Autistic child, the importance of social inclusion and that one person can make a difference which was supported by a personal story about her son attending pottery class.
When the launch finished, all the copies of the book was borrowed, many of the people hope that this project would continue into other councils as well and expressed interest in volunteer work to support Autistic children by running activities to bridge the gap between community and our children.
“With the Light” is now available in the Whitehorse Manningham Libraries in both Chinese and English version. We hope to present this to the general public especially to children from mainstream schools (as children are the future of our world) If only people can see a person as an individual and not their disabilities, the community will become more supportive and inclusive.
Event photos and other published information