Watch Teresa’s story to discover how the power of community can be harnessed to uplift each other through all of life’s ups and downs.
Donate now at autismbc.ca/donate
My name is Teresa and I’m the mother of a ten year old autistic child. M was diagnosed two years ago, in the middle of the pandemic.
M and I were hit very hard during the pandemic. I am a single mom and at that time I got most of my strength from my community. We had to isolate ourselves completely and both of us started to spiral. I had been suffering from compounded parental burnout for years, so by July 2020 I was so exhausted that I came to a breaking point. I had a severe breakdown and needed an intervention of care.
We were lucky that the system put together many supports that we benefited from and some I found myself. But, I was a total newbie. I was told to “find my team” and that meant nothing to me. I had never been so exhausted in all my life and now everyone with a professional title was telling me that I needed to be a super parent. That’s when I found Meets.
My Meets. My Release Valve.
Joining AutismBC Meets made me feel like I found my people. Having a high-needs child is a very demanding task on a regular day. But in a pandemic, it’s nearly impossible to meet their needs and your own on any day. At the time that I joined most of us were in isolation and trying to manage the impossible. The meetings were so important to those who joined. If not just for a release valve.
My family’s situation has improved significantly since we got M’s designation and all of our supports in place. I am a regular member of our Meets because I consider them part of my self-care routine now. I often make note of thoughts or situations that I know the group will help me with and in that way I know I have a place to bring my family experiences that most other people don’t understand. I know someone will be working on an issue I have some experience with and I also know that if I’m having a rough week I can share what’s hard.
The Meets are always about sharing and resource sharing, especially for new members. And if one parent is needing to share heavy stuff we make room for that and give the time in our meets to make sure they feel heard and safe. And always a sense of togetherness.
My Meets. My Modern Village.
Raising a child on the spectrum can be quite difficult without the power of community to help caregivers process the complex moments. Government services don’t offer family support, they offer a narrow range of child supports. “It takes a village to raise a child” and AutismBC Meets are like connecting to your modern village. If you are struggling to understand the myriad of often inexplicable services, terms, and limitations, you can find your people in these meet-ups. If you feel like you’re at the end of your rope and what you have been trying isn’t working or your child is not being seen and supported, you will find a place to be heard in Meets. What donating to Autism BC Meets does is give caregivers and autistic adults a refuge to repair, gather our thoughts, make plans that work for our families, share a wealth of knowledge, and find a moment to feel understood.
Everyone needs a place to Meet.
Everyone needs a place where they feel safe to open up and share their challenges and triumphs.
A place to connect with a community of people who understand and can offer advice.
A place to listen, learn, and laugh. AutismBC Meets provides opportunities for people in the autism community to connect, empower, and learn from one another. We believe in the power of community to uplift each other through all of life’s ups and downs.
Help autistic people and their families find a safe, judgement-free environment to be themselves. Donate now at autismbc.ca/donate