Our Family - Support Autism Society Nebraska - Omaha
Autism Society of Nebraska - Omaha Support Network isn't just an organization to me, my friends or my family. It has become our village, our 'tribe'; our family. Surrounded by families who get it, who have been there, or will be there, or have entirely different experiences and still stand by you, still have your back on the bad days and jump up and cheer on the good days - no words can explain that support. While participating in ASN Omaha events over the years, my TWO boys have learned how to ride back through ASN Omaha's participation in iCan Bike Camp. They've learned to jump rope, do proper situps, how to bowl, golf, and even learned how to take turns appropriately through ASN Omaha's Rec Club! They've got to spend one on one time with Santa at ASN Omaha's Sensory Santa event every year. Where there are no lines, no loud noises, toys and fidgets for them to do while they're waiting to see Santa. I've got pictures that show the progression of my youngest to sitting a good foot away from Santa, to the next year, he sat next to him, the following photo Santa had his arm around him - even though he was leaning away. The following photo, he's now leaned into Santa, and smiling! That would NEVER happen in a mall setting, and my son would have never met Santa as a child, while it still matters. I could go on and on about the things ASN Omaha has allowed my children and so many other's children to do but, the point is, they do a LOT and they do a lot of this for us, for a seriously reduced rate, or for FREE. More often than not, eating the total cost of an opportunity they provided for our families. How can you repay that? How do you repay a genuine smile at a stranger? How do you repay watching your 9-year-old go from just learning how to ride a bike in July and then in August, he's on a motorbike! How do you repay, watching your 13-year-old, who you were told would be profoundly disabled as a baby, who's been in PT (physical therapy) his entire life, be one of the first kids at iCan Bike Camp up on two wheels - a real bicycle?! I was a volunteer at that event and truth be told, I literally broke down in tears while my friend and a fellow volunteer held me up. How can you repay watching your son, who has spent over a decade in PT trying to do a regular situp, finally accomplish it?! How do you replay the moment you see your normally self-contained son, connect with another boy over something. A moment so many other parents take for granted? You can't put a price on those moments. All you can do is offer to help the organization and the people who made these moments possible. So, I'm asking for a little help now from all of you. Even if it's just $10, every bit of that money stays here in Nebraska. Every bit of that goes towards helping us give these moments and so, so many more moments I haven't listed here, to another family. To another single mom, to another child who's not going to typically have these opportunities to do these things. As we grow here in Omaha, so do our opportunities to provide new experiences and lessons for our families and loved ones with autism. That unfortunately, as you know, isn't cheap by any means. As time goes on, costs rise and the new statistics that state 1 in 59 children have autism is on the rise too. So, please help me - help us - to give back to an organization that have become our family, that will become someone else's family.