Hope For Three is thrilled to introduce our August Autism Superhero, Michelle Spencer! You may recognize her from the June Autism All-Star article about Tyler Kinser. Michelle is the mother of Tyler and has been an autism advocate since her son’s diagnosis 19 years ago.
Michelle is an avid autism advocate and is integral to providing autism parents with a support system in the community. Michelle, alongside Melody DiPasca, hosts the Autism Caregivers Around the Bend on the last Sunday of each month. Founded by Lynn Clouser and Hope Montgomery, Autism Caregivers Around the Bend have supported the autism community since April 2019. The group is an opportunity for caregivers of individuals who have autism to get together for networking and support. It is there that Michelle lends her ear, support, and knowledge from years of experience with her son.
Parental/caregiver advocacy is critical in the daily lives of all children, but even more so with autism. Parents/caregivers need to understand their child’s rights and continue to push for their (and therefore everyone else’s) child’s equality in and out of the classroom. Often, one does not consider a support system which is precisely why Autism Caregivers Around the Bend, Ausome Moms United, and Hope For Three’s Guy, and Gal Gatherings were established. These groups are places where parents and caregivers can lend advocacy and support to one another. To all the caregivers of an individual with autism, remember to practice self-care, talk to peers, and build/connect with a support system of some kind. It is crucial to re-fill your tank with rest, support, and care that you rightfully deserve and need. It is not selfish to put YOU first so you can be the best parent or caregiver you can be.
Do you know someone who is a positive impact on the autism community?
Enjoy this fun read in parent-group research!
- Mandell, D. S., & Salzer, M. S. (2007). Who joins support groups among parents of children with autism?SagePub.Com. Retrieved August 2022, from https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1362361307077506