Every dad is proud of their child but the story runs a litte deeper for Daryl and Daniel Giles. Daryl is in awe of what his son Daniel, 30, has achieved since he was diagnosed with autism aged 2 1/2.
More than 27 years ago autism was not widely known, indeed Daryl had never heard the word until a specialist gave them the diagnosis and he could find little information about what it would mean for his son's future.
Despite being non-verbal as a child, the intervention and education that Daniel underwent transformed his life - and father and son now share their stories of autism with others.
Daryl and Daniel were in Ballarat on Thursday delivering two seminars on life with autism to an audience of educators, support workers, families and others interested in autism.
"It's been an amazing journey," Daniel said.
WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW TO HEAR DANIEL GILES TALK ABOUT AUTISM
Daniel started at a special school but with support from his family and others, transitioned to mainstream schooling and went on to achieve a Bachelor of Graphic Design. He now works part-time as a graphic designer and photographer and does a range of volunteer work alongside advocating for people living with disabilities and public speaking.
Daniel's advocacy work has seen him take on many roles including the Victorian Disability Advisory Council (DHHS), the Public Transport Access Council and the V/Line Accessibility Reference Group, and he has volunteered with many different organisations and causes.
In 2017 Daniel's community work and advocacy were recognised when he was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for service to disability and the community.
He says autism has given him a "unique perspective on the world".
His public speaking career began at age 13 when he offered insight in to his life with autism and the strategies that have helped him achieve his goals.
But it's only recently that Daryl has joined his son on the public speaking circuit.
"Our driving force is making a difference to people for the better," Daryl said.
"Daniel has been speaking at conferences and school since he was 13 and he has always had a huge sense of social justice. I've watched his growth with that and the difference it's making and quite a few years ago we had a discussion about maybe doing something together, but we didn't do anything about it for a long time."
That changed after Daniel was invited to speak at a conference in Bhutan about two years ago and Daryl accompanied him to the Himalayan kingdom.
"When we got back from that amazing experience he asked if it was okay to put in an abstract for the Asia Pacific Autism Conference in Sydney for us to do something together ... so that was the first stage I got up on.
"He talks about what it was like for him when he was young, and I talk about the emotion around the diagnosis, his school journey and all the structures we had to make a difference and the outcomes of those through childhood, adolescence, university and independent living," Daryl said.
"Society has come a long way as far as awareness goes ... we are building on understanding and being accommodating and acceptance and that's huge."
Daryl said the make-up of audiences at seminars had changed from mainly professionals to a mix of educators, experts and families and hearing first-hand from Daniel helped offer real insight.
"At the end of most sessions we have at least one parent or family come up to us with a young child on the autism spectrum. Often they're in tears because we have given them hope for the future and that's what drives us - there's nothing more special than giving someone else hope."
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