Imagine the possibility of a home that is equipped to be safe and optimized for the comfort and enjoyment of Autism families. It would have proper locks on its windows and doors, a pool area that is gated. It would have fully functioning Wifi, a dedicated DVD player with a library of available movies, and an extra iPad fully charged as a back-up. It would have a kitchen where families could cook familiar meals, meals that adhere to any special diets they follow. Autism families would have the space for kids to make noise without disrupting someone in a neighboring hotel room, and room for respite caregivers to stay as well. Before their vacation, Autism families would be provided with a brochure complete with pictures and thorough information about the home and its surroundings, which would help families understand exactly what to expect and how to prepare for their vacation.
In sum, imagine a place where parents who spend hour after hour, day after day, exercising the utmost patience and understanding can just relax and let go in a safe environment. Imagine a place where kids with Autism have key pieces of their routine in place and the space they need so that they can be the best they can be. Imagine a place where families can have new and exciting experiences as tourists, while their needs for familiarity and comfort are simultaneously met and understood.
EJ Autism, a public charity based in Long Island, wants to create such a place, Puzzlers’ Cove, in the small seaside community of Ocean Beach, Fire Island. Families will embark on a ferry, leaving their everyday life and its attendant concerns behind, for a new adventure on a quiet island without the danger of any cars. In Ocean Beach, there are excellent lifeguards to keep kids with Autism safe in the water, and in the evening, fabulous restaurants and ice cream shops to choose from. The small Fire Island community will become familiar with Puzzlers Cove and comfortable with Autism families, with growth and learning on all sides.
Please help make our dream a reality. EJ Autism hopes to raise $800,000 towards the purchase of an Autism safe and friendly vacation home, Puzzlers’ Cove, so that a one-week stay (at $800/week) is affordable for most Autism families. For those for whom our price is not affordable, EJ Autism is committed to raising the money necessary so that everyone can take part in the dream we’re building. Please join us in this journey to make vacations available for all.