Our Guest Blogger this month is Yvonne Vieira, Parent/Committee Member – Hearts and Hands Walk for Autism & Family Fun Day.
I was honored to have been asked by CAR to be a guest blogger this month. It’s been more than a decade since I first turned to CAR for help after hearing that devastating autism diagnosis. It did feel devastating back then. Now it just feels overwhelming from time to time. And as if one diagnosis wasn’t stress inducing enough, we would learn that our oldest was also on the spectrum a couple years later. Funny how we didn’t pick up on it when he was such a handful those first several years.
We first turned to CAR for information and education shortly after the diagnosis’. Talking to people who have ‘been there’ brought comfort and a sense that we too could get through this. Next we turned to CAR for the many programs they provide for children on the spectrum. My boys have been able to attend movies, yoga classes, social groups, and family activities that are handled in a sensory friendly manner. Our kids on the spectrum are just like any other kid, they just want to have fun. The thing is that what is fun for a typical child, may be totally overwhelming to a child on the spectrum. CAR gets that and plans their activities with that in mind.
After many years of turning to CAR for their support, I decided it was time to show my support by volunteering for their Hearts & Hands Walk for Autism and Family Fun Day. Some of the promotional pictures still used today were taken by me. I loved interacting with the families on walk day. Everyone has such a great time because it is a great event. In it’s 11th year now we are still proud to provide an event filled with free games, refreshments, activities, and entertainment. It is truly a family FUN day from start to finish. By the way, you don’t want to miss the raffle table. The prizes always have family fun in mind with gift certificates to places like museums, zoos, bowling, climbing, rollerskating, indoor trampoline parks, and so much more. Shopping and restaurant gift certificates too!
The thing I’ve learned, especially over the last several years, is that in order for CAR to be able to continue to provide the many free services and programs and fun things all our families have come to enjoy they need our help. The Hearts & Hands Walk is CAR’s primary fundraiser and it’s success will dictate whether or not they will be able to keep doing what they do best which is helping families who have children on the Spectrum
CAR has truly been a presence on my family’s journey and they have yet to help so many others. Please consider forming a team and joining us on walk day this year or by making a donation to show your support for CAR and all the wonderful ways they make a difference in the lives of those with autism.
Thank you for your time and support. I hope to meet many of you on walk day. See you at the farm!