All About Autism

Creating An ‘I CAN’ Network With Chris Varney

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Does your child often feel isolated and have low self esteem? Chris Varney is 31 years old and has Asperger’s Syndrome. He grew up with a group of mentors who pushed him to think ‘I CAN’ and is driving a rethink of autism, from ‘I Can’t’ to ‘I CAN’!! In today’s episode Chris empowers you with ways to support your child at school and work – to boost their confidence and help them reach their full potential. 

Chris is the founder of the I CAN Network. The I CAN Network mentors young people on the Autism Spectrum to live life with an ‘I CAN’ attitude. They build networks across schools, universities, TAFEs, communities, businesses and governments. This is Australia’s first social enterprise founded by people with Autism!

5 Rapid Fire Questions

1. What is one habit that parents can implement today?

Making sure you’ve got a schedule of what’s coming that week. Put something on the fridge it gives people a sense of what’s coming down the line.

2. What do people never ask you that you wish they did?

I wish they asked me more about my history obsession! I get to talk about it but I wish people would ask me. I’ve got all this knowledge that I won’t get to put anywhere!  

 3. What book would you recommend all parents read?

I Can Jump Puddles by Alan Marshall.

 4. What is your top unfinished bucket list items?
When I was in grade six I was writing a sequel to the sequel of the movie ‘Gone With The Wind’ which is this 1929 movie based on the book Margaret Mitchell wrote called Gone with the Wind. And I was writing this sequel because I was so upset that the story ended and I wanted to continue the family tree which was bizarre if you explain it to people but that’s an unfinished thing of mine. I don’t think I will ever finish it but everyone at work knew I wanted to finish it to win this Pulitzer Prize. It was very funny.  

5. If you could only offer one piece of advice to parents, what would it be?
Find the people that make your kid feel safe and use those people.

Episode Resources

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YouTube Channel (to see the beautiful faces of our guests): here

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So….until next fortnight, I encourage you to open your mind, respect the differences and above all believe that YOU can make a difference from homebase!

With love and hope,

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