"Your child has autism."
How would you respond to hearing that? For our families, those words are life-changing. One day your perfect child has unlimited possibilities for his future. Post diagnosis, the future is unknown. Will he ever speak? Will she ever make friends? Will we be able to do things like other families? How do I connect with him? Will the meltdowns ever stop? Will she be bullied? Will my family and friends accept my child? Will my marriage survive? Will he ever be able to live on his own? Will I ever stop crying? When a child is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), it can be very isolating. We at the Autism Society of Berks County want these families to know that You are not alone. Your child is still perfect, and his/her future has unlimited possibilities. There is hope.
The Autism Society of Berks
County is a small volunteer group of parents and professionals who are affected by autism. As parents, we have children at different ages and stages of this broad spectrum. Because of our diverse experiences, we strive to provide support and insight to parents and caregivers as they travel on their personal autism journeys. Professionals on our board have dedicated themselves to working with those with special needs and bring a unique perspective stemming not only from their expertise, but also their compassion for our families affected by autism. Whether your child is newly diagnosed, starting school, crossing into the teenage years or staring at the cliff of graduation and post-grad life, we will be there to guide you along the way to the best of our abilities.
By providing a variety of opportunities, our families can meet others who have similar experiences and who understand what they are going through. With our Facebook page, Autism Society of Berks County Members Page, we are able to have our members of caregivers and professionals share their resources, recommendations, and strategies. With free monthly family events and free specialty groups including music, social skills and yoga, we are able to provide our families with skills that lead to confidence and connections that lead to friendships.
Our support also extends to the community at large. Thanks to the generosity of others, we are able to provide financial assistance to organizations that benefit those with autism. We attempt to assist our local school districts with mini-grants to help those in ASD classrooms. We are also dedicated to educating those in the community, because with 1 in 59 children diagnosed, you know someone with autism.
With this series, we hope that you understand the impact of this diagnosis on our lives and are inspired to become a support to all those affected by autism. Thank you for listening to our stories.