Monday, July 20, 2009

ASM Family Retreat Weekend

We got home yesterday from the most wonderful weekend ever. We attended our first family retreat- which is actually an annual event put on by the Autism Society of Maine. I went, not really knowing what to expect, even a bit apprehensive but left empowered, refreshed, and just genuinely happy.

It was so nice to get to know other parents- it's always nice to reconnect and know that you really aren't alone even though often it can feel that way. It was great for Corbin to be around other individuals with ASD- as well as myself, I was very happy to meet adults with ASD- as I really don't know any personally. The "theme" of the weekend was actually adults w/ASD and I learned a lot at the lectures about what "to look forward to"- what there is for Brian and what I can do now to make sure he has what he needs when I'm gone. I loved the respite providers who were there to help me, and all the other parents, whenever we needed- no task too small or too big- they really truly went out of their way to make sure everyone was having a wonderful time.

I enjoyed just spending time with the boys, with no worries, just really enjoying every single moment with them. It couldn't have been better.

I think I can sum up the whole weekend in that last hour we were there, walking around campus with a friend we had met and his 11 year old son with aspergers, Devon. We were just walking aimlessly, Corbin running ahead being loud, Brian on his bike, freaking out every time we turned but yet we were all just quiet and watched him figure it out on his own, and Devon picking up all these little rocks, pieces of garbage, and flowers and putting them in my cupped hands. It was really just perfect, no judgment anywhere, and myself & Chad (Devon's dad) just seeing it as completely normal- we didn't have to pause and stop them from doing their individual things so they could "fit in" or so others would stop staring.

I just loved the whole weekend- wish it could've been a whole week or longer- could've just disapeared from reality and stayed there forever.

5 comments:

Christina said...

What a wonderful trip!! I am so happy for you!

Crystal said...

Awesome! Where was it at in Maine? I love Maine...went to visit a man there once and fell in love with the place. :)

Crystal Jigsaw said...

That sounds really memorable. I always remember stopping off in Maine on or way to Florida. It was in 1991.

CJ xx

Jill C. said...

Hi Heather - it is Jill at ASM! You are so kind, and we are so glad that you and your family had a great experience at the Family Retreat. We are running some photos of the Retreat and a brief article in our next newsletter. Would it be okay if we include what you have shared about your experience? We think it would be meaningful to other families. Please let me know. ASM: 1-800-273-5200. Sincere thanks:) - Jill

Jill C. said...

Hi Heather - it is Jill at ASM! You are so kind, and we are so glad that you and your family had a great experience at the Family Retreat. We are running some photos of the Retreat and a brief article in our next newsletter. Would it be okay if we include what you have shared about your experience? We think it would be meaningful to other families. Please let me know. ASM: 1-800-273-5200. Sincere thanks:) - Jill