Local Dublin Girl praised for impact of her Late Late Toy Show appearancePadraig Conlon 30 Nov 2022
Caitriona Kalogeraki (aged 10), a local schoolgirl from Bohernabreena, got a surprise message from international Harry Potter star and activist, Emma Watson, on Friday night’s Late Late Toy Show, who praised Caitriona for raising awareness about autism, and empowering and educating other young people.
Caitriona, who goes to Glenasmole N.S., won the hearts of many viewers, including parents of children with autism, when she spoke about being autistic on the Toy Show, calling her autism an ability, instead of a disability, encouraging other children with neurodiversity, who may feel a little different, that they too are special.
Not only was the Tallaght native a favourite of so many who tuned in, for her energy and hilarious antics, her positive message also brought tears to the eyes of those touched by her explanation of autism.
The articulate 10 year old activist has had quite an impact in many homes across the country, with countless families expressing the difference it made to their children to see someone like them, in national media, embracing and celebrating neurodivergence in such a big way.
Touching the hearts of the nation, this little girl, with a powerful message, also proved to be the catalyst for numerous families to discuss their children’s own diagnosis with them.
Scores of thanks were sent to the passionate Dublin girl, from neurodivergent children and families, for the wonderful sense of pride in who they were that they felt after her impassioned appearance along with how “seen” her representation on the Toy Show had made them feel.
HerFamily.ie said, “Caitriona is our hero” and like a true hero she has managed to have a powerful impact on many following her RTE appearance.
Caitriona’s mother, Jennifer Phillips said: “Everyone has strengths and challenges to face.
“Neurodivergence comes with so many wonderful qualities and strengths, not just challenges.
“We have always celebrated the strengths and special qualities that neurodivergence brings.
“I’m incredibly proud of the person my daughter is and especially proud of the pride she has in herself.
“The amount of messages we’ve received about the impact she’s had has been incredible.”
Now that star Emma Watson has praised Catriona for her advocacy on behalf of neurodivergent children, and as she continues to champion her autism, Caitriona seems set to continue to make a difference for autism awareness and neurodivergent pride.