Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Autism Awareness

April is Autism Awareness Month... but technically, everyday is Autism Awareness month in our house.
This year, I have decided to create positive posts during April mainly on Facebook that links and shares to active groups that support Autism.
Lighting blue lights is impressive and pretty but I ask for more for my son. Im just afraid its too easy for some to wear blue or change a light bulb and then forget about the thousands of families affected by Autism every day... including ours.

Above is the pic of Ryan and Erin on the walk last year for Autism Project RI . We had a wonderful time and were very tired!!  We spent the rest of the afternoon having a picnic and listening to music, painting faces, eating cotton candy... Its a great family day.
 
Our local groups are amazing. They are run by volunteers and mainly parents and grandparents of kids on the spectrum. They have  turned their day to day jobs into these consumer advocacy groups offering families support, fundraising and trainings. It amazes and humbles me that they do this for no or little money.

Autism Project RI
 This is the group founded by my friend Joann Quinn. Her son was obsessed with Blue's clues at a young age like Ryan. He is a grown teen now and so lovely.
She has taken this small organization and helped it grow and change to offer all the karate classes Ryan takes and the social groups.
They have an annual walk coming up this April... The link will take you to their homepage... amazing stuff and have many tools and supports for families and individuals on the spectrum with amazing staff...
Every year, they run a summer camp for the kids that is totally "normal" summer camp activities but with a one to one ratio and TONS of visuals, schedules and support for our kids... great sensory experience!!

Community Autism Resources
This is the Massachusetts group that is amazing. My supervisor (and good friend ) Jan Randall is the resource specialist there and I learn SO MUCH about what is going on in the community and how to function with my son etc from them...
They offer great programs like the ASD symposium which is a wonderful learning conference and opportunity to learn from great people in the "business" of Autism.
They area also the group that puts on the Parent Retreat that Jon and I attended back in Feb... It truly is an amazing overnight escape especially since so many of us just don't get the opportunity to get away.. this gives us parents a great excuse to take one night and focus on us as a couple, to strengthen our friendship and surround ourselves with other people who just "get it".
Jon and I would have friends if we could see these people all the time... Sadly, so many of us are so busy the retreat is our only reprieve... so I'll take it!

Two great organizations I like to promote and help. If you are ever looking for a way to help , find a group in your area like the two above to donate time, money etc to as the families directly benefit from their services...
Thanks to everyone who has reached out and made a difference by focusing on Autism this month in some way... from lighting it blue to donating time or services to a family in need or an organization... every bit helps...
Peace,
Kim Faucher

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