Charleston Walk for Autism
Yesterday, we were able to attend the Charleston Walk for Autism & I wasn’t really sure what to expect. In the past, I’d participated in the Relay for Life so I thought it would be similar - walk around a track or circle X amount of times & raise money. Not the case here. The Walk for Autism is more about community & therapies, not fundraising & competition.
The Walk was at the stunning Hampton Park in Charleston which was absolutely perfect because there’s plenty of room for all the kids to run free. There’s a paved path around the park that is exactly 1 mile but the Walk was on the dirt path that took us through the park & beautiful scenery. After we finished the walk, we detoured to the center of the loop towards the fountain & giant trees.
Obviously, some of Jackson’s therapists were in attendance so of course, we stopped by their booths to say hi & show support! We saw Laurie [his OT] first with Coastal Therapy Services but I forgot to snag a picture with her. We also ran into 3 of his ABA therapists during the walk then ended the time at their booth, Carolina Coast Behavioral Services. Jackson was also in the depths of a wicked cold so he was NOT here for any pictures, but you know I took some anyways.
We didn’t stop at any of the other booths, which were other companies of therapies but just seeing all the options & activities was extremely refreshing. My favorite part of the morning was seeing the age range. I was curious of examples I’d see of how broad the spectrum is but I was more impressed by the representation of all ages.
There were adults & other kids as young as Jackson which surprised me for some reason. When we received J’s diagnosis, we got SO much pushback because he was diagnosed right before he turned 2 - basically young AF & at an age when most things can just be attributed to being a kid. However, the Drs & therapists we saw all encouraged us because EARLY INTERVENTION IS KEY. Maybe I was surprised because the pushback we received made it seem like a 2 year old with autism was just so far fetched, people didn’t believe it. Like I was making an excuse. To be in this environment with others like Jackson & as young as him just put my Mom heart at ease. Sometimes, you question what you’re doing: if you’re doing enough, if you’re doing it correctly, if there’s something you missed, etc. Getting him seen at 19 months triggered the rest of our journey & this Walk reassured me I’m doing right by my son.
I’d also like to say thank you to my Dad & Brittanee for joining us on the Walk. Next to Matt & I, these 2 are J’s next adult influences that he’s most comfortable with. They’re also extremely supportive of Matt & I getting all the help for Jackson as we sit fit. It’s obviously important for Jackson to be supported but we as parents need it as well. Like I said before, the initial pushback was there but these 2 never questioned it & have been here for us from the beginning.