By Lexi Myer
When I was in junior high, my mom worked at an elementary school as a paraprofessional in a special needs classroom. She had students with varying levels of disabilities, but the student she connected with most was a little boy with severe autism. He was non-verbal, but had the sweetest demeanor. He had a hard time controlling his emotions at times, but my mom cherished the time that she spent with that sweet boy. I had the opportunity to spend some time with him one day, and it was clear that anyone that met him instantly fell in love with him.
Did you know that April is Autism Awareness month? This month is a great time to look into how to support the estimated 2 million individuals in the United States that have been diagnosed with autism (www.autismspeaks.org). Here are some proactive ways to help this wonderful community of people this month and beyond:
- Be knowledgeable about the condition. Autism is a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. A great resource for learning more is www.autismspeaks.org.
- Be aware of resources. Locally, we have a great center called KidsTLC. They offer services for children with varying challenges, autism being included. KidsTLC offers safe learning environments, speech and language services, a peer modeling program, and more. They are an organization that our agency fully supports, and that is why they are a charity that we donate to through our referral program.
- Support the families of those affected. For these families, small things can go a long way. Be a good listener, offer to bring a meal, or watch their kids. Find a way to support the families that are working through a diagnosis, and make sure that they feel supported.
This month, take some time to proactively care for someone with autism, or someone who has a family member with autism. You never know how much that support can mean for someone.
About Lexi Myer
St. Louis Cardinals fan, Mom of one daughter and one son, and Insurance Agent!
Direct Phone – 913-754-3836
Lexi started at MAX in June of 2016, and has 3 years of experience in the insurance industry. Lexi enjoys spending time with her husband, two children under two, and Chihuahua/Beagle mix Ted. Lexi and her family are big St. Louis Cardinals baseball fans and travel to see them whenever they can. She also works with students of the University of Kansas (KU) as her husband is a campus pastor there.