Wondering where I’ve been? (Me, too. No, wait – that’s my sanity! That’s what’s been missing…) I’ve been agonizing over not bringing you my usual stories, tips and tools on a regular basis. I apologize, it’s been a very challenging summer.
My son has had a mystery illness for eight weeks that is taking all my time and energy at the moment. Who needs sleep? I’m happy to report the situation is letting up some, no thanks to the $1,000+ I’ve spent on doctors so far! Please keep up your prayers and positive thoughts for us
Aside from all that, I wanted to let you know what’s in the works…
Big News for Spirit of Autism
I’ve recently been called to serve the Autism community in a new way. I’ve already stepped into this new calling and I’m excited to keep the momentum going!
My Autism Training program for Emergency Responders has gained a lot of buzz and credibility in the community, especially since I just graduated the Citizen Police Academy and have become a Volunteer in Police Service. Being a part of this side of public safety rounds out my fire rescue and medic experience nicely and helps me reach more recruits, officers and detectives with this vital information.
The biggest joy for me has been the recent requests for custom versions of my training outside of public safety, including:
- Entire DeKalb County School System – Student Relations
- Stone Mountain Park – All Department Managers
- Georgia Emergency Preparedness Coalition for Individuals With Disabilities and Older Adults
- Georgia Mutual Aid Task Force
- Georgia Community Support Solutions
- Independent Private Schools worldwide
- Church Daycare Groups
The schools in my county are suggesting I train their social workers, guidance counselors and administrators. Wow! Being able to customize the training for different groups while maintaining the integrity of the information has inspired me to reach out to additional businesses to participate in the training:
- Daycare Centers
- Campus Staff and Security
- Event Facilities
- Mall Security
- Healthcare Facilities
- Airline / Airport Employees
This is so exciting for me to be able to create not just Autism awareness but Autism action.
Asked to Never Return Again…
Personally, my son and I have been kicked out of so many retail establishments, restaurants, and festivals / parties because the staff did not understand the behaviors they were seeing. The school used to call me three times a week to pick him up during the school day because they couldn’t “reel in his behavior”. Even Delta Airlines asked us never to return when my son was three because he was having trouble sitting still in his seat and his ears hurt. I haven’t gotten on a plane in 8 years because of this. He wasn’t even being that disruptive in many of these situations!
It’s time to stop being left out. It’s time to stop avoiding public spaces with my family because business owners and employees are afraid of what they don’t understand.
Keep your eyes open for the launch of the NEW Spirit of Autism website. I will still offer practical tips and tools and some products for parents and caregivers, but it won’t be the main focus. I will still keep up the Blog, send great recipes and recommendations in my newsletter, and offer more Emergency Preparedness information for Autism families.
The new site will have a special section for Autism Safety Training for Businesses and more in-depth information for Emergency Responders. I am also launching GetAutismTraining.com to go hand in hand with this movement. Additionally, I will be looking for corporations to sponsor or offer scholarships for some of the Emergency Responders and smaller businesses that do not have the budget for this training program but really need it.
Keep your eyes peeled! I’m also open to more ideas from you – what other types of businesses or groups do you think could benefit from my Autism Safety Training program? Share by commenting below or posting to the SOA Facebook page!