Social outings are often more of a burden than a joy for mothers of children with autism, like Jen Kirkman and Jo Jones.
Yesterday, parents and carers of children on the spectrum were treated to a rare day out by themselves thanks to the goodwill of a range of businesses.
From massage and make-up sessions through to Zumba and drumming classes, carers enjoyed a fun day of respite at the Care and Share for Autism event held at the Towradgi Beach Hotel.
Co-organiser, Skin Correctives owner Karen Meiring de Gonzalez, said there was a great turnout at what she hoped would become an annual event.
"Parents and carers of kids with autism are often very socially isolated - if they do go out in public they often spend a lot of time apologising for their child's behaviour and get looks of disapproval from others," she said.
"So we wanted to provide a day for parents and where they would be accepted and nurtured, and where they could meet people in similar situations.
"We also wanted to raise awareness of autism, to educate people so that the next time they see a child misbehaving, instead of passing judgment on the parent they are asking if there's anything they can do to help."
Mrs Jones, of Mount St Thomas, said life with son Charlie, 5 - who has moderate to severe autism and an intellectual disability - was a challenge.
"Until you have a child on the spectrum you don't realise how many facets of your life it affects - it can be very socially isolating," she said.
"An event like this is a great idea as it promotes the health and awareness of carers in the community. And it's nice personally to connect with those who have similar lives - you don't feel so alone."
Mrs Kirkman, of Balgownie, cares for her autistic son Joshua, 6, who has sensory issues which are compounded by the noise and excitement of social situations.
"It can be hard to go out in the community, so you do limit social outings," she said.
"And carers often get caught up in their journeys and are too busy to take time out for themselves.
"Every now and then it's important to have a break and put yourself first - and you're a better parent for it."
Both Charlie and Joshua attend Aspect South Coast School, and all money raised from yesterday's event will be used for resources at the Corrimal-based school.