Happy Birthday Wy – 12 years old!
Love from: Auntie Laurie & Uncle J
and of course:
So the past week has been jam-packed with fun and excitement as the McAuley family came for their first visit to the Okanagan. It was wonderful to have them here – and was a perfect opportunity for me to visit some kid-friendly tourist spots.
This summer was the grand opening of the Wibit Aquatic Water Park in Kelowna. This 30 by 40 metre inflatable park features climbing towers, trampolines and a water pillow. Partcipants are required to wear a life jacket – and there are two lifeguards on duty throughtout the day.
Wyatt and Rhett had a great time slipping, sliding, jumping and flying into Okanagan Lake.
Congratulations Wyatt on winning a red ribbon at your track & field meet.
Great job buddy – you should be proud!
To all the parents of the boys in Wyatt’s track & field group – you have to be so proud of your sons. These boys should be commended for their sportsmanship, and for their friendship – especially on a day when competitiveness could easily rule. They are a wonderful peer group and all are red-ribbon winners.
April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day in Canada, and April is recognized as Autism Awareness Month.
1 in 88 children are diagnosed with Autism.
Studies show that Autism is 3 times more common in boys than girls.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the term used to describe a complex brain development disorder. Autism can be characterized by delayed or impaired verbal communication, motor skills and social interactions. It is often characterised with repetitive behaviour including echolalia, spinning or rocking. Each individual diagnosed with Autism will have differing levels of abilities.
At present, there is no cure for Autism. Within the scientific community, it is believed that a combination of environmental factors along with a genetic predisposition cause Autism. There is no pre-delivery medical detection for Autism – early signs are usually noted in children between the ages of 2 and 3 years of age.
This is my nephew Wyatt – he was diagnosed with Autism when he was 2. He is 10 now and is doing extremely well. He is intelligent, active and so funny. It’s not without challenges, but my brother and sister-in-law endeavour to ensure Wyatt’s Autism diagnosis isn’t what defines him to his peers and society. They do everything in their power to see that Wyatt gets the services and support he needs to grow into his full potential. It isn’t easy or inexpensive. They have to pay for many of the specialists themselves because there are no provincial programs in place after pre-school. Every province in Canada has their own level of services and support for those with Autism. There is no federal strategy in place.
Autism Speaks Canada is a group working towards a Canadian National Autism Strategy. I strongly urge everyone to consider making a donation to this very worthwhile organization. Click here to be linked to Autism Speaks Canada.
Outside making a financial contribution, if you know someone with an Autistic child – do something thoughtful for their family to help alleviate their stress: make them supper or take the kids for an hour or two. Especially in rural areas, respite care is not readily available and parents need a break sometime – your offer will be appreciated. Do it in April because its Autism Awareness month, but continue in the months after because it’s the right thing to do.