Tag Archive: autismawareness


So to keep up with April being Autism Awareness / Acceptance month I wanted to share this animated video.

In my opinion it is by far one of the best videos for children of all ages to see so those who are on the spectrum get a little more compassion/understanding.

 

 

 

At first I wasn’t sure how / if I was even going to share this on the blog but with today being the start to Autism Awareness Month I think it would be rather fitting to finally share it.

I am writing this in hopes that someone can help or perhaps a bunch of people can help. I’ve already contacted many children’s charities, autism foundations as well as big name companies only to be turned away and I’m starting to feel deterred in even asking for help anymore. Like many parents with children who have Autism daily tasks that are simple and enjoyable for other children can be a huge task to even start for our family (like going for a walk when it’s nice out). For those who have read my blog before you are aware that my soon to be eight year old little man is on the spectrum and was diagnosed a couple of years back with being high functioning autism. Even though he is a happy, healthy little boy like anyone on the spectrum has his challenges it’s why I’m asking for help with our GoFund Me to help make his life a little easier. You see we are without a vehicle and when we had a vehicle (it was under Keegan’s biological fathers name and when we divorced he sold it) Keegan loved going on nature walks, special events (mostly train or animal related), camping and going on other random adventures that little did he know were educational all while being fun. Since 2013 Keegan and I have had to rely on family/friends for help, however since a majority of them work a standard 9 to 5  we can only get transportation help on weekends which means that during the week Keegan and I take public transit. This is overly tricky for Keegan since he gets overstimulated by the sounds/smells on public transit. Since we have no other option and are stuck to rely on public transit Keegan regularly shows up to appointments physically tired from being overstimulated, can’t focus at the tasks that need to be done and has mood issues/out bursts. If this wasn’t an issue in itself he has also missed out on school field trips, birthday parties, specialized events (like the ones held by the Canucks Autism Network and Pacific Autism Family Network) and even after school programs such as soccer, swimming lessons, gymnastics..etc. I know that asking for help with a vehicle is a lot to ask for but hopefully someone can help so Keegan can help feel like a “normal” kid and partake in things that he shows interests in.

I’ve already contacted every children’s charity, autism support group/organization/charity, Justin Trudeau /my city mayor / city counsel / other branches of the government, every local vehicle dealership and big name companies…etc all to be told “We’re sorry to hear about you and Keegan story but at this time there is nothing we can do to help” . Charities (like Variety, United Way, Presidents Choice Children’s Charity..etc) say “Funding is limited” or ” We don’t help with transportation have you tried contacting local companies“. Meanwhile those companies reply with “Sorry we don’t help individuals only charities , have you tried them?“.  I have even applied for disability grants, low income grants and children’s with disability grants all to be told they can’t help with transportation either. I have well over a hundred e-mails (No, I’m not exaggerating) to show that all these places that claim to help children with disabilities don’t really want to help ALL the children with disabilities even if their parent has letters from professionals (like their child’s pediatrician and speech therapist) backing up their request for help along with every piece of medical history showing that their child does in fact have autism.  Even our GoFund Me hasn’t had much help, don’t get me wrong I am very grateful for any donation no matter how big or small but I just though that perhaps with it being shared well over 200+ times we would of had more donations by now (as of writing this we’re at $20).

I’ve started asking for help and applying for grants at the start of this year and every day since then I’ve heard some sort of “No, we’re not going to help your son” even when asking if they could just share our GoFund Me link. I’m a mixed of emotions (angered at the so called children’s charities / autism foundations, frustrated at the situation as a whole, saddened by the fact that it seems like I really am doing this all on my own which feels like it’s going to take forever since we’re considered / are low income…etc) and as much as I feel like giving up I know I won’t/can’t because it truly would make my son’s life so much easier / better for him . It’s just now getting harder for me to stay true to myself when I am then asked for help by those in my son/my life or even complete strangers (Yes, I’m that person who will give a stranger my shirt or buy a homeless person a warm drink / meal…etc )because even though it’s easy to turn people away or leave someone in the lurch some times the smallest gesture can give someone hope and help them better themselves even if it is just for 24hours or perhaps change their mind about helping out others when they see someone in need of a helping hand.

If you want to read more about my son and my story or help our GoFund Me (by sharing or donating) our story can be found here :

https://www.gofundme.com/letsmakelivingwithautismeasier

I don’t really know how else to end this blog entry other than by saying that it really is true that parents will try to do everything / anything to help their children and to those who may be in a similar situation as my son and me don’t give up. I know you feel like you want to but don’t do it, you will find a way ❤

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It’s that time of year again but this year instead of a necklace you can show your support via these lovely earrings. They can be bough at any London Drugs location across British Columbia and Alberta, are only $20 and the proceeds go to the newly built Pacific Autism Family Centre

The puzzle piece to me has many meanings the most important part is that it is a small piece to help represent my son. No matter what he will always be my son, my world, my heart and my reason for doing a lot of the things I do. Without him I wouldn’t have a complete picture and don’t think my life, much like a puzzle, would ever be complete.

Autism is something we’re still trying to understand since everyone who is effected by autism is affected differently, even if they are on the same part of the spectrum. I’ve mentioned the following groups / sites before for those looking for support / information or just to see that you’re not alone and your child (or yourself) will be just fine even though they have autism. Autism doesn’t need a cure it needs understanding and less ignorance by those who don’t have it in their lives either by themselves, family or friends. There are many successful people who have kept their autism quiet in fear or being judged or thought less of. We hear about some of their stories but in the end anyone autism or not are capable of wonderful things and can be/do anything they work for.

In case you missed the links to the group / sites I normally mention when I bring up autism awareness here they are again.

Pacific Autism Family Centre,
a centre of excellence / network of supports for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (both young and old) and their families across the province.
http://pacificautismfamily.com/

Bryan’s’ group
, it is a great source of support for those with Autism or parents / friends of those who are living with Autism:
https://www.facebook.com/AspergerSyndromeAwareness/

Autism Speaks Canada, has lots of information and goes into deeper detail then I ever could.
http://www.autismspeaks.ca/

Canucks Autism Network (CAN), they provide year-round, high- quality sports, recreational, arts, and social programs for individuals and families living with autism, while spreading awareness and providing training in communities across British Columbia.
http://www.canucksautism.ca/

When my son Keegan was diagnosed with Autism, it helped shed some light on why some things are the way they are. With his diagnoses came a whole new world of information that would be overwhelming for anyone, let alone a newly single parent who like any parent just wants the best for their child. I came across Puzzled Jewelry while learning about autism activity groups / random information on autism itself and the Pacific Autism Family Centre, since then I have followed their projects that bring more awareness to those with autism.

This year Puzzled Jewelry are doing it again and came up with wonderful puzzle piece earrings that will be hitting the shelves of London Drugs at all locations across British Columbia in March. HOWEVER you can get yours early with the purchase of your ticket to their fundraiser  A Night to Support The Pacific Autism Family Centre . It will be held on February 18th, 2017 and will be a night filled with food, drinks, music, dancing as well as some casino fun! Plus when you buy your ticket you’ll get the lovely earrings before ANYONE ELSE ! !

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Tickets to the event can be bought here:
https://tricitiesbc.snapd.com/#/events/view/1015018

For those who can’t make it to the even but still want to purchase a pair of earrings remember you won’t miss out, these will be available March 2017.

If you want more information for the Pacific Autism Family Centre it can be found here:
http://pacificautismfamily.com/

To find out more about Puzzled Jewelry you can find them on Facebook and their website

Again I’d like to personally thank the moms who started Puzzled Jewelry for not only making cute jewelry but more importantly bringing more awareness to autism and helping the Pacific Autism Family Centre.

A small thank you….

I’m going to start off by saying that I did not write this, it came up in my news feed and I had to spread the message along. As a mom to a little one on the autism spectrum I can relate to it on many levels, even with my son now being in grade two.

The original blog came from From The Bowels of Motherhood a mom who writes about raising three littles, autism and military family life. Here is what she wrote….

This is your first week of kindergarten. You are nervous and excited. You are getting into a new routine and meeting new friends. One of those new friends is my boy. He comes into your class only for a half hour each day because being in there all day would be too much for him. He goes to recess with you, but he has a grownup right there with him because sometimes he tries to runaway and he doesn’t always understand playground rules.

When I saw the two of you holding hands today, my eyes filled with tears and my heart filled with joy. I know you don’t understand why it means so much to me that my son has a friend. I know you are happy to play with a boy who is filled with life and laughter. I won’t say thank you for being his friend, because I know you like him for him and not to get a pat on the back.  

I do have a favor to ask you, though.  Right now your days are filled with story time, play time and crafts and you both do pretty well side by side.  But, you see, my son has autism and I know there will come a time when you will start to notice his differences. 

You’ll notice the holes in every shirt he has because when he’s anxious he chews on his collar. You’ll notice he runs back and forth and flaps his hands when he’s excited. You may start to notice he often talks a little too loudly.  You will start to wonder why he covers his ears when he’s surrounded by people. You will start to notice the stares from other kids when he gets upset about seemingly little things.  You will notice he often asks the same question over and over again.  You will see he often gets stuck on a subject and can’t always move on to talk about something else.  You will start to wonder why he rides a different bus or why he spends so much time in another classroom. You will notice he does different school work and he can’t ride a bike. You will hear other kids making fun of him. You will then realize he doesn’t understand they’re mocking him. These epiphanies won’t hit you all at once, but I know they’re coming just the same.  

For today, I am going to hold onto and cherish the image of the two of you holding hands, blissfully unaware of your differences.  But as time goes by and you start to notice, I ask with all my heart that you don’t let go.

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A special thank you to the mom for writing this and expressing the emotions / thoughts that I have had many times. A big thank you to the little man in my son’s class who has become his friend and looks out for him, I really must meet your parents to give them the biggest hug on raising such an awesome little man.  For everyone else, I hope this can serve as a reminder that people with autism or any mental health issue have so much going on already that all they need is a little understanding / compassion. They still want to learn, have fun and be included like everyone else.

…Not only about themselves but with what they can accomplish.

I’m doing this shout out blog for SURF’S UP FOR AUTISM, because they are doing something truly amazing. They’re trying to gather donations so children both young an old can have the unique experience of surfing all within a dynamic, enriching  and inclusive environment. But they needs help to raise enough so no one gets left out.

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Surf’s Up is a free two day surf camp in Tofino, BC inspired by a father who’s son was diagnosed with Autism at age 4 and by age 5 was standing on his first surfboard.  From there a dream was born to create the first free Autism surf camp in BC for children and families living with Autism.

The organization provides each child with one to one time with a certified surf instructor and Autism Support Worker so that each surf session is tailored exactly to that child’s needs.  They also have a certified BCBA Autism Consultant involved in the planning and day of the camp.  All the wetsuits, surfboards, food for the day as well each child receives a medal at the end of the event are provided by Surf’s Up

They even include siblings in every aspect of the day!You can help make their 6th annual surf camp for children & families living with Autism a success.

Surf’s Up is a not for profit Society, 100% of every dollar received goes directly into the cost of running the camp!

If you can donate you can do so by clicking on the link below
https://www.gofundme.com/surfsupautism

Don’t feel bad if you can’t donate because you can still help by spreading the word
Follow Surf’s Up
Twitter
@Autism_SurfsUp

Facebook
Rip Curl Surf’s Up Event – SUPA Society
Their website
SUPA SOCIETY

This lovely blog popped up in my news feed and after reading it, I believe it is well worth the share.

It’s easy to group those with Autism with a single label even though each person who has it are/can be very different from someone else who is on the same part of the spectrum as themselves. This blog was not only relatable to my son and my life ( more so him since he is the one who was properly diagnosed with Autism) and a great reminder that not all autistic children will fit your image of what an autistic child may look like or how they may behave.

Enjoy the read.

A Moms Responds When People Wonder If Her Daughter Really Has Autism

I’m asked all the time “Why are you so tired?” and it’s just easier to say “Bad nights sleep” then to go into details on how it can be exhausting mentally, physically and emotionally when not only are you a single mom but a single mom to a child who is labeled “special needs”. The problem is most people don’t want to hear real the explanation and much like other parents we know it is because people are busy or simply won’t understand so it’s easy to make up something that won’t bring up many other questions. We also don’t want to feel like a burden onto those around us. Now my lovely readers you’re probably trying to figure out where I’m going with all this and it’s simple…..

YOU’RE NOT ALONE and you’re far from a burden when it comes to asking for help or looking for someone to talk to.

There is a lovely blog written by Life Over C’s that I think can explain this topic a little better than me, because even though everyone’s situation is different her blog entry is very relatable. It’s well worth the read even if you’re not the parent of a special needs child. The link of the blog can be found right below….

Why Special Needs Moms are Exhausted All the Time, But Will Never Ask for Help

Even though she writes about her youngest daughter having Rett Syndrome, I can relate to a lot of it even though my son has Autism. I found myself going through a lot of the same things, like how screen time is a life saver and how we both have the fear of “If I leave the room to go to the bathroom, will my child be ok” and being labeled a neglectful parent if something does happen in those few seconds we took to run to the bathroom to pee.

So go ahead and pop over to her blog and give it a read.

Remember that yes while we are tired we are still normally up for a friend bringing us a coffee and chatting.

.:Side Note:.
I like my coffee chilled like a frappuccino or something iced

Light It Up Blue

Today is all about autism awareness, but for me I wear the awareness on me for life.

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The puzzle piece to me has many meanings the most important part is that it is a small piece to help represent my son. No matter what he will always be my son, my world, my heart and my reason for doing a lot of the things I do. Without him I wouldn’t have a complete picture and don’t think my life, much like a puzzle, would ever be complete.

Autism is something we’re still trying to understand since everyone who is effected by autism is affected differently, even if they are on the same part of the spectrum. I’ve mentioned the following groups / sites before for those looking for support / information or just to see that you’re not alone and your child (or yourself) will be just fine even though they have autism. Autism doesn’t need a cure it needs understanding and less ignorance by those who don’t have it in their lives either by themselves, family or friends. There are many successful people who have kept their autism quiet in fear or being judged or thought less of. We hear about some of their stories but in the end anyone autism or not are capable of wonderful things and can be anything they work for.

In case you missed the links to the group / sites I mentioned a few blogs back here they are again.

Bryan’s’ group
, it is a great source of support for those with Autism or parents / friends of those who are living with Autism:
https://www.facebook.com/AspergerSyndromeAwareness/

Autism Speaks Canada, has lots of information and goes into deeper detail then I ever could.
http://www.autismspeaks.ca/

Canucks Autism Network (CAN), they provide year-round, high- quality sports, recreational, arts, and social programs for individuals and families living with autism, while spreading awareness and providing training in communities across British Columbia.
http://www.canucksautism.ca/


Light it up blue today and spread the awareness

After doing draft after draft here it is, the blog on why I don’t really talk about my son or his disability.

The most important thing I hope to get across with this blog entry is some understanding. Autism effects many children, these children will grow up to be adults and the judgement towards them seems to be more harsh. I was very hesitant to write this entry because one thing I’ve noticed is even though two children may be in the same part of the Autism Spectrum they will be very different from one another. This also means that everyone’s story will be different.

At first glance my son seems to be a happy, healthy, caring little man. It’s only if you’ve known him from when he was very young or get to really know him now where you’ll see his “disability“. I use the word in quotations because even though my son has Autism he is still very able to do many things. Yes they may be done differently than how other children do them or in ways you have never thought possible but he can still do them. I’m not saying that raising a child with Autism is easy but from what we have experienced so far we seem to have found a routine / certain things that work for the both of us and make life a little easier.

My son (Keegan) was diagnosed with Autism in 2014 right before he turned five. It shed a lot of light on why he did things the way he did. Like his lack of speech or how he would interact (or lack there of) with other children his age when playing at school for example. However even after being told that he was on the spectrum (high functioning on the new spectrum, Asperger on the old scale is how it was explained to me) I still didn’t treat him as a special needs child. I learned that by making a good routine, using picture diagrams or going with simple step by step instructions not only would be find his independence but he will / can learn many skills.

Like any parent I want nothing but the best for my son, I understand that things will be trickier for him but he is still very capable of succeeding. I don’t know if he realizes it or not just yet but his Autism is kind of a gift. It lets him focus and see things many would miss, he can see how things work without even having to take them apart or hear every part of a song and recreate it without having any special training. It’s these things that I see in him that I try to embrace in our day to day life in hopes that he eventually sees / learns how capable he really is. And  that even though some people may talk down to him because of his “disability” he can prove them wrong and exceed expectations, kind of like how he is doing at school even now at the age of almost seven.

With all that being said I guess the main reason I don’t write more entries about my son or anything relating to Autism is because I personally feel that it’s not really my story to tell. Yes I am a single parent to a child with Autism but Keegan is the one with Autism he is the one who it will always effect on the inside. As for writing about my son in general well, there isn’t much to really say and I’d like to keep our memories both good and bad to ourselves because as much as social media can be fun not everything needs to be out on it.

All anyone really needs to know is that Keegan is so caring, clever / intelligent (yes I’m aware many parents say that about their kids), funny, happy and healthy little man. He shows me old things through new eyes in his own way and to me he is just a little boy who is quickly growing into what I hope will be a wonderful adult.

For anyone who wants to learn more about Autism, I’ll leave some links below but please remember people are so much more than their disabilities. It doesn’t matter if they’re physical or mental disabilities it’s never fair to judge or be treated differently.
Feel free to check out the following links, they are the places I turn to when I have questions or looking for extra support:

Bryan’s’ group, it is a great source of support for those with Autism or parents / friends of those who are living with Autism:
https://www.facebook.com/AspergerSyndromeAwareness/

Autism Speaks Canada, has lots of information and goes into deeper detail then I ever could.
http://www.autismspeaks.ca/

Canucks Autism Network (CAN), they provide year-round, high- quality sports, recreational, arts, and social programs for individuals and families living with autism, while spreading awareness and providing training in communities across British Columbia.
http://www.canucksautism.ca/