THE mum of a young girl with autism spoke about life for her family at the launch of a special exhibition exploring the condition in Edinburgh.

Emma Bennion, whose daughter Ruby has been diagnosed as having non-verbal autism, lives in Tranent with husband Graeme, Ruby and the couple’s other daughter Annie.

Her brief account of life with Ruby has been included in the Autism in Focus exhibition, which looks at 100 different perspectives from 100 people living with the condition. The exhibition, organised by Scottish Autism, highlights the fact that one in 100 people have autism and asked people touched by it to share what they wished people knew about being on the autism spectrum.

Emma, who is a principal teacher at Wallyford Primary School, attended the launch at Ocean Terminal, Edinburgh, and spoke about Ruby and her family.

The family has been using Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) therapy to help learn to communicate with Ruby, who is nearly five, and allow her to communicate with them; however, the treatment is expensive and they have been fundraising to ensure they can all receive the hours of assistance required to make a difference to Ruby’s life.

Writing about her family’s experience, Emma’s entry into the exhibition is accompanied by a photograph of her with her daughter.

It says: “Our wee Ruby is a beautiful, happy girl who has been diagnosed with autism. She is non-verbal but with the help of an amazing therapist, ABA is helping her to communicate and understand the world around her.

“The hardest part of being a parent to a non-verbal child is when they are crying, screaming, trying to tell you something is wrong but you have no clue and all you can do is cuddle/wrap them tight.

“Ruby is such an affectionate wee girl and, as the photograph shows, she may not be able to tell me ‘mummy, I love you’ but there are many other ways she does. I live in hope that one day those words will come but until then a squeezy cuddle and a big kiss will do me any time!”

Ruby’s dad Graeme, who runs Preston Lodge High School’s Active Schools programme, is running in this year’s Edinburgh Half Marathon to raise funds to continue Ruby’s ABA therapy.

Mum Emma and friends are also joining in on the day with a team entered in the Hairy Haggis relay race.

To support Graeme in next month’s half marathon, go to