Imagine being unable to engage with the world or express your feelings to anyone, despite possessing a sound mind. Imagine being aware of everything around you, yet incapable of communicating your thoughts and feelings. For many people with autism, this is an everyday reality. Now imagine being able to overcome these obstacles and achieving what was once considered impossible.
Autism is a complex condition, but the mission of the Golden Hat Foundation is simple: improve the lives of people with autism around the world. At the Golden Hat Foundation, we believe that all people with autism should be provided with the education, social supports, and meaningful relationships necessary to improve their quality of life and foster independence.
The Foundation is the inspiration of one mother’s efforts to help another. When Kate Winslet narrated A Mother’s Courage: Talking Back to Autism, a documentary about a young Icelandic boy named Keli Thorsteinsson living with autism, the Oscar-winning actress and mother of two became inspired to make a difference.
After meeting Keli’s mother Margret, Kate was deeply touched by Margret’s far-reaching journey to find a way for her nonverbal son to learn to communicate. And with that, the idea for the Golden Hat Foundation was born. The Foundation’s name comes from one of the first poems Keli wrote (using his letterboard), entitled “The Golden Hat”:
This boy had a golden hat.
The hat was magical. It could talk.
The boy did not have any voice. He had autism.
His hat was always with him.
His hat was lost one day.
Now he had no way of telling them his stories.
His mom and dad became sad.
They taught him spelling on a letterboard.
It was hard.
Kate describes her motivation to get involved:
“After watching A Mother’s Courage: Talking Back to Autism with my daughter, she turned to me and asked, “What if I wasn’t able to talk to you mummy?” As I thought about what that meant, for a mother not to be able to talk with her own child, I realized that I had to lend my voice to raise awareness of this rapidly increasing disorder. As a mother of two, I thought, how could I not help tell this story of a mother’s journey to discover her son; a film full of courage and a determination to try to change the world for children with autism. I am incredibly proud to be involved on this journey to help give people with autism a voice. Together, with your support, we can reduce the impact of this debilitating disorder.
Please help us by donating today.”
Please join Kate’s efforts to help those with autism shine with a voice of their own! Read more about A Mother’s Courage: Talking Back to Autism, the film that inspired the Golden Hat Foundation.
On a course set to include the United States and Europe, she meets with scientists in the field of autism and autism therapies and the parents of autistic children who share her passion: to break down the wall between the children and the surrounding world. This journey becomes lengthier and more dramatic than she envisioned at the start. During the trip, she catches a glimpse of hope that her son can be helped to a larger degree than previously assumed.