Being a Voice
One of my key roles — and that of my peers in the Autism Society around the nation – is information and referral. We pride ourselves on being a resource for families, teachers, counselors, and others in the community as we all work toward the common goal of providing the best quality of life for those living with an autism diagnosis. This is my mission, but it can be draining. I want to help every family, every individual, yet sometimes the information just doesn’t reach them.
My heart breaks for parents as they try to carve a path but seem to hit walls. Today, however, I think we made a difference.
I returned a phone call from a parent whose 12-year-old son has autism and she was seeking a referral to a provider. We discussed a good option for the provider she needed, but then I continued to ask questions.
- She said that school has been a struggle, as it is with so many individuals with autism. I told her not to stop working with the school district and to push to help her child by sharing some of my experiences.
- We then talked about social needs, and I was able to refer to a local provider who provides a social skills group. Then we talked about our new Social Connections group. Mom was so excited that there was a program like this and feels her son is ready for a group like this to connect with other kids like him.
- Then we talked about supporting her. Our monthly Moms Night Out group is great, and she will be joining us soon.
This mother, like so many I talk to, left the call more informed, more relaxed, and more connected with the programs, the agencies, and other organizations that are in place to assist with caring for individuals on the spectrum.
Living with autism is not easy for families and that is why I am happy to be a voice to help. Please let me know if we can help your family too.
Robin Suzelis, Director
Autism Society of Mahoning Valley