As we started our group, we intended on this being a small, yet comforting place for families to get together. It grew beyond what we could have expected and much faster than we thought was possible. We have many followers the globe around on our Facebook page and many people have come to our site from places I only dream of visiting. But what is amazing to me, is that this gift, this opportunity to impact the lives of another family, simply started with opening our mouths.
Here is a challenge that I have for you; take a minute to talk to five people, someone in your neighborhood, at church, your kids school, anywhere and talk to them about autism. Open up about your experiences, share your vision and “beat your drum”. Can you only imagine the message that we can all share by simply talking to someone? To think of how far this message can go by each of us talking to only 5 people, the number is staggering! It simply sends chills down my spine to think about how much awareness and understanding we can create by simply speaking from our heart!
At our first meeting of F.A.A.S.T., Robyn and I had the gift of multiple people, with the shine of hope in their eyes, who came to us with their stories. It was difficult for me to try to keep the emotion bottled up; in fact, I got teary eyed on a number of occasions, just seeing how we were on the cusp of something very special! I recognize that there were many people along the way who have helped us make this happen and I will be forever grateful to Dr. Adam Schwebach for being our first guest speaker, Mrs. Maureen Newton, Principal of West Haven Elementary for being a champion for our cause, and the numerous others who played a role in allowing our project to get off the ground. To each and every person who attended or shared the message, I am forever indebted to you for helping us “beat our drum.”