October 28, 2016
BENEFITING: ALL IN NEED FAMILY SUPPORT
Like most special needs families, we struggled to find our footing, to find a community and support system to help us navigate this special needs world. We happened to learn of a summer camp for young children on the autism spectrum and it was there we met Autumn. She introduced us to her non profit, All in Need, Family Support. What a huge blessing it was to find her!!
Our first special event with All in Need was the Easter Egg Hunt. We knew going in that taking all three kiddos could end in disaster. One could have a melt down, bolt away from one of us, have such sensory overload that they shut down or simply cry the entire time and refuse to participate. That is always the wild card when we venture out; what might happen, what might go wrong, will people stare, will the event end with tears not just from the kids but from me as well. We normally take turns taking one or two children to an event and leaving one parent and child at home. We tag team most everything. Something that parents without kiddos with special needs cannot really understand.
But none of that mattered at the Egg Hunt. All the families there have been in our shoes at one time or another, no one is staring no one is judging. All the kids can just be themselves and enjoy an event just like their peers do. My daughter, Josie, is very taken with animals. Animals of all kinds, live ones, cartoons of animals and even adults dressed in bunny costumes. Josie was the Bunny’s shadow, she had the best time- no tears only happiness. We have a dozen pictures of her that day posing with the Bunny. My son, Jack, his happiness is when he is with Autumn. So he also had a great time, hunting for eggs and just being with Autumn. They have a special connection. Jack was not able to say “Autumn” when he first met her at summer camp, and called her “Awesome”. That name has stuck. And she truly is Awesome.
In addition to the special events of The Easter Egg Hunt, Cookies with Santa and Trunk or Treat, the monthly respite events with All in Need are a god send. It is really a difficult task to find a sitter who will work with three children, and two of them with special needs. We do not get out much as a family, much less as a couple. These respite events allow my husband and I to connect back together, just us. We are so thankful for Autumn and All in Need. They have had such a wonderful impact on our family and we are so blessed to have them in our lives.
We hope to help raise funds for All in Need so they can continue to offer these wonderful, important services to other special needs families. Families just like ours.
Thank you Autumn, for all you do for our special needs community!!