As a parent of a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), I have made it my goal to raise awareness, understanding and acceptance of individuals like my adolescent son. I have spent many hours volunteering in my son's classroom and the office at his school so that I was in close by if needed to assist his Teachers. I eventually became a supply teacher, or what is better known as a substitute teacher. Most of my assignments started out in Special Education at a local middle school but, I wanted to be more involved in my son's elementary school. The support of others prompted me to pursue my certification as a Paraprofessional, or what is better known as a special needs personal assistant. It was through the numerous changes in this journey that I decided to return to college to acquire my certification to become a Special Education Teacher. The crazy-paced and calendar-challenged schedule that I have taken on is not one I would have even considered ten years ago. I have to remind myself that once I have achieved my teaching certificate; my time will be redirected to maintaining my classroom, instead of the hours of college classes it took for me to get to there.
Our family has made use of the various resources that are available in the community, but, we know that it isn't always easy to locate everything that we need. It is important to know where to look for assistance or support. I am extremely fortunate to have a network of resources available to me as a parent and the AutismOKC.org Coordinator. As a parent, I know how difficult it can be to attend certain functions or events, like the upcoming Oklahoma Statewide Autism Conference, that offer the chance to collect the information about these resources. If you can afford to register and take off work for the event, I strongly encourage you to do so. The magnitude of the experience is epic, until its record in your memory is replaced by next year's experience! I will be writing more about this in the next few weeks, so be sure to check back or subscribe to follow my blog through emails. You never know, YOU may know someone who may benefit from the information being shared through our blog.
I have been working to create a Community Resource Fair for Parents, Caregivers, Service Professionals and Educators of Children who have Autism, or those children whom are in the stages of being diagnosed. This event is just around the corner and is being hosted by
at St. Luke's United Methodist Church, located at 222 NW 15th Street, near downtown Oklahoma City on Thursday, October 23, 2014 between 6:30pm - 8:30pm. This particular Community Resource Fair will offer information from a variety of resources in our surrounding community shown in the image below:
For more information about the AutismOKC Community Resource Fair, to volunteer to help us during the event or to register your child for childcare so that you can check out the resources, please email Lorrie@AutismOklahoma.org by no later than Monday, October 20, 2014 so that we can confirm childcare coverage for your family. We appreciate your help sharing the information on this event with anyone you know who might be interested in attending it, and we look forward to seeing YOU at the upcoming AutismOKC Community Resource Fair!