Founder of the charity called The Little Explorers Activity Club and author of the best-selling book Iris Grace, Arabella is the mother of the young and talented painter, Iris Grace.
Accomplishments: Arabella considers sharing her daughter Iris Grace’s paintings and raising awareness about autism among her major accomplishments and advocacies. By writing about her experiences with her child, she aims to educate people around the world on what it’s like to live with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and to inspire all people affected by autism and their families. She says that despite the challenges, there is always a bright future waiting ahead if you believe and take action.
Arabella believes the key toward that bright future is to follow the lead of her child and advises other people to do the same with their children. She says that her daughter and her cat, named Thula, are living proof that being different is brilliant. Iris Grace has already sold numerous paintings to private art collectors in Great Britain and around the world. Thula, meanwhile, is a supernanny cat to Iris Grace. The amazing cat also accompanies the young girl when she participates in activities like biking, boating, and swimming.
Inspiration: Arabella says she always draws strength from her daughter, as well as the way she views and appreciates nature. She says that Iris Grace has allowed her to feel and to deeply understand the importance of truly living in the present and not thinking too much about what the future brings. The lessons she learned from her daughter have significantly improved her skills as a photographer and a writer. Her daughter also serves as her strength and guidance to view life positively and maintain an upbeat outlook so she can be on her daughter’s side in good times, as well as those important tough times.
Goals: Arabella says her goals in life revolve around Iris Grace and her interests. Her child’s development is anchored on her love of nature so she is preparing for an adventure of traveling to the “Forests of the World” together. Every trip they make will be based on the interests of Iris Grace so that she can effectively educate her throughout their journey. She will document the process to inspire others and to show the beauty of nature that should be protected from destruction for the future generations of humans.
Arabella also plans to support the independent conservation organization, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), in its mission to establish a community where humans and wildlife can live together in harmony and peace. The organization is currently advancing programs to find ways to conserve the world’s wildlife, rivers, forests, and seas.
Advice for families affected by autism: Children on the spectrum, children with neurological difference, can learn, succeed and thrive. They can grow up to have jobs, careers, and love at the center of our society. The key is embracing who they are, not trying to coerce them into being something they are not. I believe in what’s within each child working with their strengths and interests in an environment that suits them. Follow, be guided, and inspired by your child.
This article was featured in Issue 71 – Navigating A New Year