First stop, America!

America… back to where it all began for my Fellowship and exploring Autism-friendly building design in the flesh. This takes me back a few countries and about a month in time!

 

The Friday I had been waiting for had finally come, and it was two years after knowing I wanted to apply, one month shy of being a year since I actually did apply that I finally got to get in that big jet plane to head off to the States.

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Livingroom of Airbnb

First impression of Denmark

Dear Jacson,

I had a long transit to get to this gorgeous street in Aarhus. It is a beautiful sunny day clear skies, other than a few wispy clouds. There’s a slight breeze and the temperature is around 5 degrees. I left Washington D.C. on a clear cold afternoon and arrived at Heathrow airport on a cold and snowy morning for my layover. I’m pretty happy to be back in the sunshine again.

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Churchill Fellowship: Finding out

I was at my desk when the email came in. At first, I saw “Churchill Trust,” then “It gives me great pleasure…” Surely that had to be good! I held my breath and opened the email. I didn’t get past the first line before the tears started.

“It gives me great pleasure to advise that your application for a 2017 Churchill Fellowship has been approved by the Board of Directors at a meeting in Canberra…”

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The word 'Autism' spelled on blocks

In the beginning

My grandson was diagnosed with Autism. He was seven and a half at the time. The diagnosis was not a surprise, but it was still something to wrap our minds around. My daughter told me she had a little cry – of course she did, we all did. Jacson was also born with Down Syndrome. My daughter and her fiancé work hard with him and have the highest expectations for his abilities. This hasn’t changed, but perhaps the goal posts have since the early days.

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