“Jump…with…me”. Three simple words that to most would mean nothing, but for this 3 year old little boy those words meant everything. I remember hearing him from across the room and looking directly at the other therapist. “Did he just say what I think he said?” We both looked at each other “Jump… with …me”, he stated again holding his hands out for the therapist. She grabbed his hands, and they began to jump together.
For months I had watched them work toward this moment. Each week this adorable 3 year old would come bounding into the building running toward the trampoline stating one simple word “jump”. As he held out his hands his occupational therapist would encourage him, “jump with me”. “Jump” he would reply, smiling and grabbing her hands. But that day was different as he climbed up on the trampoline and held out his hands three amazing words followed “jump with me”.
For many 3 year olds verbalizing their needs comes easy, but for a child with autism communication can be one of the most difficult aspects of everyday life. Every 11 minutes a child is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. That’s a startling 1 in every 88 children. With this diagnosis becoming more and more prevalent so does the need for advocacy and awareness. Autism Speaks is holding their annual Walk for Autism on Saturday, October 13, 2012 at Forest Park.
It’s the “Jump with me” moments that remind us why we walk. We walk to advocate and to educate others on this disorder that is impacting so many. We walk to not only support our kiddos but also their parents. We walk to encourage them in moments of frustration and celebrate with them in moments of triumph. We walk so that every kiddo can have their “jump with me” moment.
Come out and join us for the Autism Walk on Saturday October 13th at Forest Park. Need a team?? Join ours! The team name is Leaps & Bounds and each team member will receive a FREE team t-shirt. Simply follow the link below and type in ‘Leaps & Bounds’ under the “Join/Support a Team” tab. Registration begins at 8:30 followed by the walk at 10:00. Be sure to come visit us at our resource table. We look forward to seeing you there!
-Trina Blackwood, MOT, OTR/L