Home » Autism Advocacy » I AM Making an Impact, One Individual at a Time

I AM Making an Impact, One Individual at a Time

September 10, 2021


Meet Helen Boden, the CEO of I AM—Celebrating Autism in Greater Manchester, UK.

I AM Making an Impact, One Individual at a Time

A love for people and change has been a motivator for Helen Boden, and now, at the height of her career, she is the newly appointed CEO of I AM—Celebrating Autism in Greater Manchester, UK. The charity organization focuses on supporting autistic individuals and their families/caregivers to enable them to achieve their goals and aspirations. 

With 25 years dedicated to working within the neurodiverse sector, Helen has worked with directors and CEOs of multinational companies, marginalized individuals and those who have been excluded from society.

Accomplishments

Helen credits her accomplishments to the places she visits and the people she’s met on her journey. She’s worked with neurodiverse young people and adults who were offenders (or at risk of offending), and the long-term unemployed. She believes her greatest accomplishment is making an impact in the lives of some of these individuals.

Inspirations

Helen hopes to help create a society where individualism is valued and equality is afforded to all. A society where access to support services and resources is readily available without having to fight and struggle to attain them. Moreover, she envisions and strives for a society where diversity is seen as both a strength and an ability. 

Helen is constantly reminded of the daily wins as her motivation to “go at it” each day. For example, the wins of those who say hello after not speaking for weeks and the individuals who were helped by one of I AM’s key workers and have finally mustered the courage to leave their homes. 

Among these is the parent of the child who phoned I AM’s information line in a crisis because their child had received 19 detentions for walking out of class and not using cutlery in the school cafeteria. 

“Cheesy as it may be, my inspiration comes from these small wins and those we support who ‘just keep going’ despite everything they face. If they can keep going, putting one foot in front of the other, every day no matter how hard it might be then I can’t possibly not follow their example. They are the inspiration,” says Helen.


Special Offer

Don't miss out on our special offer.
Click here to find out more

Goals

Given the wealth of knowledge and experience that I AM has gained through years of service, Helen’s goal is to ensure that I AM shares its knowledge and experience over a greater landscape to reach more people who can benefit from it.

Advice for families affected by autism

Helen encourages parents to be their child’s biggest cheerleader—she believes a parent knows their child best. However, though parents play an important role in supporting their children, it’s important for parents to remember that they, too, need support. She advises parents to surround themselves with people who can understand their challenges, providing a safe space to offload, cry and laugh. 

She adds: “I think this is probably what I AM does best, we create a safe space. Whether it is individuals who are autistic or parents, they know that when they come to us they are among friends.” 

Website: https://i-am-autism.org.uk/

This article was featured in Issue 121 – Autism Awareness Month

Autism Parenting Magazine aims to deliver informed resources and guidance, but information cannot be guaranteed by the publication or its writers. Our content is never intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician with any questions you may have and never disregard medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Support Autism Parenting Magazine

We hope you enjoyed this article. In order to support us to create more helpful information like this, please consider purchasing a subscription to Autism Parenting Magazine.

Download our FREE guide on the best Autism Resources for Parents

Related Articles

I AM Making an Impact One Individual at a Time

I AM Making an Impact, One Individual at a Time

Read More
Empowering Caregivers Through Voices of Autistic Culture

Empowering Caregivers Through Voices of Autistic Culture

Read More
Autism Acceptance Month vs Autism Awareness Month: Which is Correct? https://www.autismparentingmagazine.com/autism-acceptance-vs-autism-awareness/

Autism Acceptance Month vs Autism Awareness Month: Which is Correct?

Read More
Autism Strengths: Harnessing Your Child’s Abilities

Autism Strengths: Harnessing Your Child’s Abilities

Read More
Autism Language: Person-first or Identity-first?

Autism Language: Person-first or Identity-first?

Read More
Breaking the Autism Stigma: What Can We Do?

Breaking the Autism Stigma: What Can We Do?

Read More
Autistic Screeching: the Meaning and the Controversy

Autistic Screeching: the Meaning and the Controversy

Read More
>

Autism Parenting Magazine