Confession & New #Workshops (#Autism, #AutismSupport, #FamilySupport)

Confession: I LOVE public speaking! I know, I know, it’s one of, if not the top fear that most people have, but I love it. Role playing however…that’s a different story for me. And I have to role play counselling scenarios every week in one of the courses I’m taking right now…but I digress.

A number of years ago, I met a lovely woman named Melissa. We Facebooked and saw eachother every so often. Then earlier this year, she said that she was meeting a number of parents with children with Autism/Asperger’s through her career and asked if we could meet up. She wanted to understand more about what these families were facing (how awesome is she?!!). One coffee date later, and we decided to start holding workshops together, which where later called “Autism – Family & Financial Workshops“. She would be able to talk about the financial aspect of things (budgeting, RDSPs, etc) and I could talk about whatever was timely dependent upon the time of year.

Yesterday, we held another workshop, with me talking about IEPs since it’s that time of year, and how to work with the school. She spoke of budgeting, couponing and price matching. We also had an expert in RDSPs (Registered Disability Savings Plan…available in Canada) come share with us as well.

The chemistry in the room was awesome. I’m so glad that people felt comfortable enough to ask questions throughout my schpiel! If you’ve ever been to a presentation I make, I encourage questions. When people were leaving, they said they felt supported and asked when the next one is being held (January 28th at 10am, for anyone in Hamilton, ON Canada). We put it out there that maybe we should do a “coffee hour”…and people loved the idea. So, we’ve now scheduled an information get together over coffee (November 6th at 10am).

Something amusing happened during our workshop yesterday though that I also wanted to share. We asked for people to complete feedback forms, and when they gave them back, the form was put into a draw for a door prize (it was a beautiful Sherpa throw rug…so soft!). Can you guess which feedback form was completed by an adult who was newly (as in, this week!) diagnosed with Autism, just based on how the paper is folded? 😉

Feedback forms

Yup, that would be the “accordion style” one in the middle. She has a son with Asperger’s, a daughter being assessed for Autism, and she herself has now been diagnosed with Autism…and she’s proud of it…proud of knowing why she always thought of things in a different way; why she always did things just a little bit differently than others around her. Her son is NOT happy though…he liked being the only one in the family with an ASD diagnosis. Poor little guy. 😉

Anyway, if you are in the Hamilton, ON Canada area, please join the Facebook group to learn more about upcoming workshops and coffee times.

If you are outside the Hamilton, ON Canada area, but would like myself and/or Melissa to come to your area whether to offer a workshop series, or even a one-time presentation, please comment below or email me: imamomtoo.meghan@gmail.com.

My Thankfuls

This is always a VERY busy weekend in my family because of two birthdays (mine and my moms on the same day!) plus (Canadian) Thanksgiving.  So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I wanted to share my “thankfuls” with everyone.  I’m thankful for:

  • my son and daughter
  • being able to write a factual letter (those who know me IRL will know what this means)
  • blogging, otherwise my brain would be in overload all the time!
  • Canada’s free healthcare – have no idea how I would have afforded all the services my son has had to help him live with Autism
  • my son starting IBI
  • feeling stronger and more supported than I have ever felt in my life

For fear of this sounding like an “acceptance speech”…I also want to thank some very dear people in my life:

  • K.G. – I have no idea what I would have done without you since the end of my marriage. The daily phone calls have reduced down to “only” emails or Facebook messages, with the occasional phone call, but you truly helped me through the toughest time in my life.
  • S.A.– My “sister from another mother”.  ‘Nuff said.
  • A.J. – My “big-bro type”, who is always there for me, whether just with a quick “boo”, teasing, or huge hugs.
  • A.S. – For being an amazing partner, without believing that you are, or that you are doing anything special (makes him even sexier!).
  • My mom – do I really need to explain anything here? She’s my mom…and the most AWESOME mom ever! (PS – If you want to know the title of the book she gave me for my birthday, leave your Twitter handle or email address in the Comments section below, or email me at imamomtoo.meghan(at)gmail(dot)com…it’s a good one and made me laugh…related to being a single mom!)

 What and who are you thankful for?