Autism Speaks Canada Walk: Montréal 2017
|When: Sunday, May 28, 2017||Registration Begins: 08:30am|
|Where: Tomlinson Fieldhouse, McGill University (Directions)||Official Walk Start: 12:30am|
|Walk Distance: 3 km|
Local Walk Ambassador: Arianna
Arianna was a beautiful, happy baby. From the beginning, she loved to laugh, she loved to dance, was a bit of a clown and loved to be cuddled. To my husband and I, she appeared to be developing normally, although we thought her speech was a bit delayed and she didn’t really play with others or her toys very much. At 18 months we addressed our concerns with our family doctor who referred us to a developmental specialist. During the long wait for the assessment, Arianna began to regress. The words she had became practically non-existent and her character began to change right in front of us as she became withdrawn into her own world. It was heartbreaking, not being able to hear her call us Mama or Papi anymore. Finally, 18 months later, and after a series of evaluations and tests, Arianna was diagnosed with autism.
We remember the Doctor discussing her evaluation, talking about autism and all of the local services that were available for her. We left with a lot of information to process, but felt encouraged about the assistance we would receive which would help our daughter. At that point, we didn’t realize that everything had a waiting list and access to the right services at the right time was unlikely. This was devastating for us and we began worrying even more about what would happen to her if she didn’t receive the help she needed or if we were no longer here. Arianna is 4 ½ now. She is still non-verbal. She can feed herself, is affectionate, loves hugs and is always really happy. She still has days that are tough, but we are blessed to have so many good days and are now enjoying the little victories when they happen. She shows us every day that love doesn't need words.
Support has been everything to us. Without our families who have been always understanding and available whenever we need them, I'm not sure we could do it. When people say it takes an army it is definitely the truth!
The good news is that challenges have made us stronger. Our experiences have caused us to fight for the care she needs and not stop until we get the help she deserves. Arianna now has more support available to give her the help she needs with many amazing people around her constantly providing stimulation and consistency while pushing her in the right direction.
Autism and other spectrum disorders are just beginning to get the visibility they require in order to provide government and private funding for research and resources.
As Arianna progresses, her needs will change, and we will continue to fight for her cause. We continue to learn how she sees and understands the world and have so much hope for her future!
Montréal Resource Fair:
Click here for a Resource Fair application form.
National Snack Sponsors:
Contests and Incentives
- Grand Club