Connect with families, professionals at the Richmond Autism Resource Fair and other upcoming events.

Monique Nelson

There are three things that have been a constant in my journey as a parent: feeling immense time pressure, the need for support and the value of professional services. When I was searching for information on autism interventions in March of 2001, I was living in a small, remote community with dial up internet access and no other parents nearby who had gone through a similar experience.

The information that I could find was very confusing and quite frankly, it frightened me. It seemed as though I had to make a choice between interventions that fell into two philosophical camps that couldn’t have been more polarized. The disturbing aspect was not knowing which path to choose and fearing that the wrong choice would ruin my son’s future. I asked myself, could I be doing harm? I constantly worried about the rapidly closing window of the early intervention years. I couldn’t see beyond them at that time.

My path became clearer when I met other parents who offered advice based on their lived experiences. I also drew strength from stellar professionals and support workers. These connections and relationships gave me the fuel to take on my new volunteer role as “home team program manager”. Although challenging, I am thankful for the opportunity to design my son’s therapy program and to allocate the provincial funding he receives – a benefit derived from the advocacy of parents who came before me.

Over the past few years, the quality of life for our family has improved due in large part to the new friends I have made who share my journey (you know who you are!), and to the work I do here for posAbilities. The parents and professionals in my circle are a source of constant inspiration! They are pioneers in the area of inclusive education and innovators who are blazing new trails that will increase opportunities for community connectedness and belonging. My son’s future is brighter because of them.

In sharing this story, I hope I have encouraged you to go to a live event and experience a new connection. You never know where one connection will lead!

Notes about Upcoming Events:

Saturday, November 23 from 9:00 am – 2:30 pm, visit posAbilities – Laurel Behaviour Support Services at the Richmond Autism Information Fair. Check in with Sareth and Janet to learn about services that include behaviour support, life skills training and a free positive parenting program called “Triple P”. Guest speakers, a parent panel and professionals in public and private agencies that serve families in Richmond will be there to meet you. The event will take place at McMath Secondary School, 4251 Garry Street in Richmond.

For more upcoming events and educational opportunities, please visit posAbilities event calendar here.