We have three beautiful children, one is older and has her own family now and two younger happy and healthy children 9 and 8, of which our 9-year-old son has autism. We, as a family, have been living with the formal diagnosis for just over three years. Once the diagnosis was confirmed it gave us a greater understanding of the challenges our son faced when participating in activities in the community. As parents we have experienced the ‘great advice’ from other parents on how to parent our ‘naughty’ child, worked our way through the challenges of everyday life and shed many tears as we witness the struggles our son has with the expectations from society, we have observed the ridicule from his peers at his inability to follow rules, the frustration of our child not being able to be flexible if the situation changes or the situation is not going to his plans, the distress our son faces if his clothes are not ‘working’ and as a family have been subject to some hurtful comments and actions from other members of the public who do not understand how a person with autism operates. While we do everything we can to protect him from these situations this is not the reality of life. We need to work out how he can be a successful, rewarding and contributing member in the community through peaceful and positive experiences.
We also have an 8-year-old daughter who often struggles with the attention our son gets with all his therapy classes. She feels she is missing out and on occasions can become very intense or mimics his behaviour to get some attention or to divert our focus from him in times of need. There isn’t a safe place we can take our family to in our local area believe a facility such as We Rock the Spectrum gym would be a very welcome addition in the local area where families can go together to spend quality time and meet other like families. All the siblings would be able to build relationships and form lasting friendships at such a facility.
We believe we have the drive, passion and dedication to provide a facility in our local area particularly marketed for people with special needs and their families. We believe we can provide a fun, specific needs and most importantly a safe environment for these families where they can participate in the local community with the support required to do so. We have offices available for Allied Health Services to rent to conduct social group therapy sessions, while the parents can enjoy a cuppa and chat and the siblings can have fun on the gym floor. It is a win win for all members of the family!