Rights of a Child – Rights of Us All

Rights of a Child - Rights of Us All

By Yadira V. Calderon
Contributor: Guy Stancliff

Yadira V Calderon and Daughter My daughter Thomais has autism. I’ve learned to savor the happy moments and embrace the challenging ones. A mother’s love can only bring a child so far, but I have a few fundamental beliefs:

She has a right to interact.
She has a right to be unique.
She has a right to be astounding.
She has a right, above all, to be respected.

Of course, in this world, none of that is guaranteed. But I can, as a mother and advocate, do my best to provide her with the foundational love and support that can allow her to go forth in this world with the dignity and belief that those rights are hers just as they are everybody else’s.

Her Right to Interact

All of us want to live life to its fullest. It all begins with our hopes and dreams when we’re young. Those hopes and dreams can be crushed easily at a tender age. Interaction with other children and adults is what shapes our social consciousness.

It’s what makes us understand what is possible in this world.

Looking and sounding the same as your peers can make things easier to interact. This is a given. But we’re still on the road to equality and inclusiveness for all.

Though autism is not something immediately noticed, it can take people by surprise. It was for this very reason that I knew education, in a fun and inspiring way, would help my daughter on her road to interacting fully with her peers and those in her community.

Her Right to Be Unique

Being unique in the world means having the right to be yourself comfortably.

Children with autism may often look and sound the same, but sometimes they don’t. People’s reactions vary and, though I can’t change how people react, I can help educate them. I can show that what might seem “strange” or “abnormal” is, actually, quite normal!

Her Right to Be Astounding

Autism the Happy Kingdom

One of our educational projects is entitled Autism: The Happy Kingdom. A children’s story, it shows how a child with autism and supportive parents can be included in his or her community through openness, understanding, and most importantly, education.

A child can be astounding in their community if they have the confidence to do so. I can’t make my daughter exceptional: only she can do that! But, I can provide her with a loving worldview and help educate those around her, so she has the opportunity to do so.

Her Right to Be Respected

Respect can only come through dignity. When we bestow worth and dignity on someone, only then can we begin to respect them.

Thomais shouldn’t be respected because she has autism; she should be respected because, in spite of it, she is determined to live a life of her own.

*Yadira V. Calderon has been eating, breathing, sleeping, challenging and accepting autism for the past five years. She is a dedicated warrior, director of short films and author of the soon to be published Autism: The Happy Kingdom. She holds a M.A. International Relations and Diplomacy, speaks three languages and has lived in six countries, having travelled to another twenty-seven. Her friends know she is determined, persistent, positive, creative, open-minded and realistic, she believes none of these attributes could ever have prepared her to become the mother of seven year-old Thomais. She provides day to day support to adults with special needs. WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | YOUTUBE

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About Jodi Murphy

I am the founder of Geek Club Books, autism storytelling through mobile apps for awareness, acceptance and understanding. My mission is to use the art of storytelling and technology to entertain and educate for the social good. I am a 'positive' autism advocate, mother of an awesome adult on the autism spectrum, lifestyle journalist, and marketing specialist.


  1. Jessica Chabert says:

    Hi! I have known Yadira since we were young and I can say that has always been a person to admire and love. For her the barriers do not exist and has always been a conquering of horizons. I really know why she has Thomais in her life! Yadira is very special person, despite the fact that his life has not been easy, is a tireless fighter and defender of the rights of the most needy. Walk hand in hand with Yadira is the best thing that has happened to Thomais, whom I know you can expect a bright future full of possibilities. I wish that people with autism achieve that their rights are recognized worldwide. Fathers and mothers should not stop their fight for their children with autism can live happily, and goverment should provide the necessary tools to facilitate their efforts. “Autism: the happy kingdom” could be a great begining!

  2. Stephanie Anast says:

    Excellent article! In complete agreement with Yadira’s fundamental beliefs. Thomais has a courageous and beautiful mom – who also advocates for her daughter’s rights and the rights of other children in similar situations. The world needs more people like Yadira and Thomais. It is also incredible that both of them have worked together to write a book aimed at sharing their world of autism to help others understand it better. I look forward to buying/reading the book!

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