ANNA-LENA AHLSTRÖM, THE ROYAL COURT, SWEDEN
On Wednesday morning, Princess Madeleine of Sweden attended a seminar hosted by her patronage Min Stora Dag (My Big Day in English). The seminar was titled “When Life Does Not Follow Manuscript” and was held at the Gröna Lund Theater in Stockholm. The focus was to put more attention on and bring more understanding of children with mental illness and neuropsychiatric function variations like ADHD or autism.
The Princess, accompanied by her cousin Patrick Sommerlath, sat in the front row listening to Sophie Dows, Fredrik Westin’s and Pelle Törnberg share their stories of how having children with special needs had changed their lives. Additionally, 9-year-old Natalie, 13-year-old Marcus and other children all of whom have “different functional variations and cognitive challenges” spoke yesterday morning, according to Min Stora Dag.
Her Royal Highness called the seminar “very inspiring.”
Research results in Sweden show that most people in the country know someone with ADHD and/or autism, but there is a failure in the real understanding of these disabilities.
After leaving the seminar, Princess Madeleine posted a photo from the event along with a message on her Facebook page, “Today, I participated in Min Stora Dag’s seminar about an important matter that we should all pay attention to!
“This year, Min Stora Dag has a special project, the Invisibility Project. It means that more children and adolescents with neuropsychiatric function variations like, for example, severe ADHD or autism get a Big Day.
“Another important part is that we must become better at seeing what children and young people with diagnoses are good at instead of what they cannot do. And in addition, take time to reflect on and take into account the fact that pain that is on the inside does not always appear on the outside.
“We can help to move attitudes and increase opportunities for these children. They should feel accepted in everyday life and be able to get extra power through just a big day!”