Supporting STEPS Autism Treehouse
We are very proud to have been involved with the 2019 Vantage Homes Trek for Autism supporting STEPS Autism Treehouse again this year.
Thanks to our team and clients we raised over $7,300 in under two weeks! We are so very appreciative to all involved.
As a cause very close to our hearts it’s great to see our community come together, the event raised in total $87,900. This amazing amount of money goes straight into helping families on the Sunshine Coast living with Autism. Through STEPS Autism Treehouse families are connected to resources, workshops, events and importantly, other families going through similar experiences on their journey living with Autism.
We make the annual Trek for Autism a family priority every year. Here’s part of our story as published by My Weekly Preview:
Mason was diagnosed with autism when he was two years old and is at the severe end of the spectrum. He is non-verbal and faces daily challenges with independence skills, self-help and communicating what he needs. Using an award-winning app called Proloquo2Go, Mason can communicate with his parents, friends and teachers with his iPad by selecting images and symbols that the app then uses to speak for him.
Mrs Lee says alarm bells started ringing for her when Mason reached 18 months and was still not talking or babbling. They had his ears tested and found fluid, but even surgery to insert grommets and remove adenoids did not improve his speech. He visited a paediatrician just before he turned two and a diagnosis followed a behavioural assessment.
HEAR THEIR VOICE – An open letter to readers from Sunshine Coast father, Jim Lee.
“Every single day (and night) is a big struggle. It’s a sh*t show from when we open our eyes to when we get to sleep. But it’s our sh*t show and we find joy in the craziest of things. I am truly blessed to have someone by my side who has the strength to carry me when I am fatigued and she is lucky to have me carry her when she is close to broken. The true strength of us really comes at the end of a hell week when we are broken together. But we have to get up, suit up and power on another day. That’s what all parents do, right?
Our day can change in the blink of an eye. Mason can go from having the best day in his life to a full-blown meltdown in the time it takes to say, ‘no wifi’. What makes it okay again? Maybe someone asking if we need a hand, or moving away and giving space, or even explaining to your naturally curious kids what a disability is.
What doesn’t help is standing and staring or even worse the ‘just needs a good smack’, comments. By the way, if you have ever made that comment, we forgive you. Prior to having Mason, we probably did rude inconsiderate things because we lacked awareness.
We find that the most normal things present the biggest challenges. We have certainly thinned out our friendship circle as we just can’t attend some things or have to attend alone.
In most cases, we don’t want to put Mason in a high-stress environment, in some cases we just don’t want to ruin your event. The reality is that we wouldn’t really get a chance to speak to you anyway as we are normally running around trying to stop Mason throwing sand on your grazing table, or trying to persuade him not to grab the heart-shaped balloon that is more attractive to him than a Paw Patrol tower is to most five-year-olds.
At this point I must say thanks to the many that do persevere with us. Who try their best to understand, who don’t see disability, who take as much joy in a moment of development as we do. You are amazing people.
If you want to help, please do the following for me.
1. Google “what is stimming” and pay attention.
2. If you see a distressed child/young person or even adult and you have any doubts, just ask if they need help. It’s a good human thing to do, autism or not.
3. Talk about Mason or another person with autism.
He is a beautiful boy who promotes love more than any other human I have come across. The most fundamentally important thing you could do to give him a better experience of this world is to help others to understand his world even a little bit. It’s an amazing place and may even change you.
A big thank you again to all who supported. Families like ours find their community and networks through the services of STEPS Autism Treehouse. Thank you.
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