INTERVIEW WITH KATHRINE PEEREBOOM, CEO OF SPECTRUM SUPPORT
Spectrum Support (www.spectrumsupport.org) is an Australian Charity created to promote awareness, inclusiveness and safety for anyone living with or caring for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). They are an education, resource and community-based charity.
The organisation began in 2017 and has evolved substantially. With multiple projects scheduled for delivery to the ASD community and general Australian public in the next few years the calendar is filling up fast.
Statistically, the incidence of Autism now shows 1 in 70 Australians being diagnosed with ASD. Awareness and support is needed more than ever.
WSN caught up Kathrine Peereboom, CEO of Spectrum Support.
- What inspired you to create your charity Spectrum Support?
Spectrum Support was created because there is a serious and great need in the community. With 3 non-verbal autistic boys, we have experienced years of heartbreak and frustration just trying to help our children. When I spoke to others, saw the anger on social media posts and the media reporting on Autism families, I knew I couldn’t sit by and do nothing. Spectrum Support is going to change lives, give people a voice and provide what has been missing in the ASD community for so long.
- Your website talks about Project Eleos. Can you tell us about that?
Project Eleos is a safety initiative that will save lives. When a person on the spectrum is having a sensory overload or “meltdown” it can look frightening. It can be misrepresented by appearance as violence or drug abuse and Police are often called. Police have been trained to diffuse a situation as quickly as possible and it has resulted in innocent ASD individuals being, beaten, tasered or even killed.
Working with several key members of law enforcement, Project Eleos will provide training to all First Responders across the country to firstly understand how to approach and respond to someone on the spectrum, and secondly to recognise the Autism “Batman Signal” called the ASD Talisman. These two factors combined is why Project Eleos is so incredibly important to Australians.
- Your first major event is a sporting event, a 4 day Motorcycle ride. Why?
Spectrum Support was approached by the KONA Group to be the 2019 recipient of their fundraising event. KONA has raised over $1.2 Million for disability charities in the past few years with cycling, running and boxing events. This year they were keen to try something different.
It’s going to be an event to remember. 4 days riding across scenic NSW with top CEO’s and bike lovers, networking, having a laugh and most importantly raising awareness for Autism and Spectrum Support and Project Eleos. The route has been planned to get the best out of NSW and we would love to have you on board.
- How can our readers support your Charity
There are several ways you can show your support and we would be very grateful for it.
- Share the ASD Talisman symbol around to your friends, family and co-workers. Start raising awareness that this is not to be feared but a person wanting to be a part of society and understood.
- Donations to support our work can be made directly to www.spectrumsupport.org. All Donations over $2 are tax deductable.
- Join the Spectrum Support Charity Ride, sponsor a rider or hold a fundraiser. More information can be found at our events page sscharityride.com.au or on our website.
Kathrine is a passionate advocate for the Autism community and opened my eyes on some of the daily challenges people face. If you are looking to support or wish to learn more about the projects Spectrum Support will deliver, go to www.spectrumsupport.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org