Catherine Plano is here today with Randa Habelrih. Randa Habelrih is an author, speaker, inclusion advocate and advisor. She is the author of the book “Dealing with Autism” and founder of MATES.
Randa’s 19 years of experience in raising a child with autism sparked her passion to help others understand the unique needs that parents, teachers and health care professionals have when dealing with autism. She has trained in various methodologies designed to assist children living with autism, including Doman Therapy, the Son-Rise Program and Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA).
Following a heartbreaking bullying incident at school Randa felt the need to speak directly to his peers via social media and so created a YouTube video asking them to just be kind. FYI here is the link: https://youtu.be/m3Nw7H6DqBU. This received a huge response from mothers and teachers; it also won a prize in a short film competition but more importantly his peers saw it.
The book “Dealing With Autism” was therefore the next part of the response to the exclusion and isolation that Randa’s son experienced but it was not enough to just share the narrative, as a society “we need to be proactive and encourage genuine, practical inclusion for our children.”
Randa has further extrapolated the MATES concept and is working at shining the spotlight via her Model MATES project; whereby models of differing abilities strut their stuff alongside professionals in the modelling industry. “It’s time we focused on what our children can do rather than what they can’t.” High fashion and modeling usually present a glamorous, unattainable ideal of perfection…
Model MATES is about presenting an alternative vision.
Randa is not only a sought after speaker, she is also an adviser, currently being involved in an advisory committee to the shadow minister for disability and also having sat on the governance committee for “The Eileen O’Conner School for Students with Special Needs”, the Sydney CEO’s first purpose built school for students with special needs. Additionally she is an advisor and advocate for parents who experience challenges with their children’s schooling.
Randa’s passion now lies in shifting the focus from AWARENESS of people living with social exclusion to their INCLUSION and also in fostering the leadership skills of our youth and sharing her message of hope, determination and empowerment.
Find Our More About Randa Habelrih
Sit back, tune in and enjoy another empowering conversation!
Interviewed by: Catherine Plano