My charity is Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (aka SARRC). SARRC is full of the most amazing people who provide support, services, research and training to children and families affected by autism. SARRC offers hope and guidance and is the beginning of the road to recovery. I wish every family with a newly diagnosed child could attend their JumpStart program because it was the first step in giving my son, Kai, his childhood back.
Here is Rhiannon:
Here is Tristan:
Here is a photo of the kids with one of their Habilitation Therapists...these therapists are so wonderful and become part of the family when the kids are able to have these services that are so crucial to their recovery and progress. There are so many children with autism who don't qualify for state services and because the cost is in the thousands of dollars, many children miss out on early intensive intervention, which breaks my heart. We have to push for legislation that mandates insurance companies cover these desperately needed therapies as soon as possible...the younger the children are, the better the chances for success.
And finally, here is a photo of the kids together and Tristan is signing "smile" which is just so sweet. Many children with autism use some form of sign language or Picture Exchange system to communicate.
There are so many things I want to be able to share with people about autism and what it is like to be a parent or family member with a child who has autism, but the list is so long and I'm not sure how to put it into words. Here is one thing to think about though when you are going about your life...the next time you see a child having a meltdown in the store or you meet someone who doesn't seem to get the "social rules" and you think to yourself, "hmm, they are weird" stop yourself and consider for a moment that the person or child may have autism and try not be so quick to judge.
All my love ~ Michelle