I wanted to take a minute to reiterate how happy I am that we live where we live!
Florida's Treasure Coast is not only beautiful, but the communities have small town feel with all of the amneties of a big city. I have networked with an INCREDIBLE group of families that I am so happy to consider friends. Sure, the economy is in the toilet and the housing market is crashing, but that is the story all across our great nation. What I really can't get over are the things made available to special needs kids. I am not talking about traditional therapies like speech, OT, and ABA. We have some fantastic therapists here that do great work with our kids(a bit of a shortage on certified Behavior Analysts but I'm doing my part to help fix that!). I am talking about a type of "Alternative Therapy"...not HBOT or Infared Saunas, but things that bring smiles to kids faces and make them feel like everyone else. Surfing, baseball, swimming, sailing, kayaking all designed to help families with special needs kids experience thing they may not have the opportunity to.
Now, first and foremost, Surfers For Autism...my heroes!! This grassroots orghanization travels up and down Florida's coast bring the joy of surfing to these incredible kids. The surfers smiling as big as the kids and families...a truly moving experience!
Then there is Challenger Little League. Uniforms, helmets, and trophies provided free to all that participate. Kids get out and experience the feeling of running the bases, having fans cheer them on :)
Sunshine Swimmers is a group of local high school students that spend their Saturdays teaching kids how to swim (CRUCIAL in South Florida, as there is water everywhere and drowining is the #1 cause of death in children with ASDs). They are swim certified through The Dan Marino Center and do this out of the kindness of their hearts. Jack now swims like a fish and by the end of this session, Owen will be right there with him...say goodbye to the floaties!!
As I was watching them swim today, a mom gave me a flyer for Access H2O...a group that takes kids out sailing and kayaking once a month...we are going tomorrow :)
It is a sense of community, togetherness, and inclusion that makes my area a great place to live. For that, I am truly grateful <3