The luncheon last Saturday was a huge success. More than 60 people showed up. I haven't been able to sleep since that big day because I keep over-analyzing the days events and I keep wondering how to improve it and make it bigger and better next year. Am I crazy? I just felt so sad for some of the people who look so haggard and worn out. I wonder if I look like that too. It was so nice to be among these awesome people who have similar circumstances.
Our psychologist came (she has a 13 year old with autism) and brought free autism awareness car magnets and autism necklaces! She and Mercedes went around to each table and passed them out and talked to everyone. (Well, Mercedes just nodded and smiled alot.) Cede and I had made autism ribbons and charm necklaces and people could take one if they wanted. I couldn't believe how surprised people were when we said they were free. We had a donation box that earned almost $50.00. The proceeds go to the Autism Research Institute ---I mailed off a check today. I know it's not much, but at the same time, trying to ask for donations from the very people who need the help, was a little daring.
I talked to one of our speech therapists today that came and she said when she walked in she felt like crying because she couldn't believe all of the people that were there. She also said, "... they could talk to others in the same situation... It was so nice to see clients in a setting other than a therapy setting." It just made my day.
We had family, friends, therapists, doctors, nurses, grad students, service coordinators, and alot of special ed teachers there. The news station was there, too. The camera guy was so tall--he interviewed Cede and her eyes were straining to look up at him during the process. I declined to be interviewed; instead I volunteered Bill. He's a good sport. The clip we saw later on that night was funny. Here Bill was trying to explain the social difficulties people with autism have when during his sentence he swallowed and gulped very loudly. Too funny.
I have a feeling this is not the end. And so it begins.