As our Board Member Stephen Shore famously said, “If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.” Our intakes today are proof of this statement.
This morning, we started with a meeting with a family that included two young adult women with cognitive delays. When we asked the women about their own goals, one expressed her interest in developing sewing skills so that she can work as a tailor in the future. Her mother also noted that she wanted her daughters to learn to read so that, if they get lost, the can identify the buses and street signs that will take them back home. One of the women also told us that she loved drawing and drew us some beautiful pictures as she waited for her mother to finish her intake forms. Although the young people in this family are older than those we typically support, our team is committed to helping their mother teach them basic literacy and safety skills, as well as processes for breaking down new skills like sewing that their mother might want to teach.
After that, we met with a mother and father, and their two sons, one of whom has cognitive delays at birth and some symptoms of autism. There were many questions related to whether their is a cure for autism, and we explained to the parents that, while autism is something that is lifelong, there are many skills that they can teach their son so that he can become more independent and participate in the community.
Our third intake today involved the only parent who used the word autism to explain her daughter’s diagnosis. Many families here avoid using this word, even when their children have received an explicit diagnosis from a doctor. We respect the terminology each family wants to use, but this mother insisted, “I want to help my daughter as much as possible because my goal is for her to life a full life. I am not afraid to tell you anything and will share all of the details with you.” Some of the mother’s main goals for her daughter involved developing communication skills. Her daughter already has some great play skills and we are excited to continue to work with this family (and all of the families!)
We still have a few slots left in the program and if you know anyone in Northern Jordan who is in need of autism training and support, please get in touch!