Are you familiar with that rare feeling of comfort, when your child with autism is the center of everyone’s very public attention for a good reason – his or her birthday? It is a truly unique sense of relaxation, when your family and friends all know and are lovingly accepting of the fact that while your son or daughter may appear to be typical, they are not.
The decision to embark on this journey, to form a non-profit organization of our own, was based purely on personal experience and due in large part to the inquisitive, rude and sometimes hostile glances at playgrounds and restaurants where we began to recognize our gradual avoidance of public places, born not at all out of shame, embarrassment or the acquiescence to other patrons but the constant and unyielding need to protect our two sons with autism. What we eventually realized was that our boys could not be themselves in these places and have fun in their own way simply because we couldn’t, and a change in venue would not suffice. AUPTIMISM is in a way Jaime’s third child, and it was her idea that if we could not change society, we could perhaps create our own for the day – a new “normal”.
The main focus of AUPTIMISM is to organize events specifically for children on the spectrum, at various locations entirely to themselves, but what differentiates this from a special daycare is parental involvement. Though a trained and highly qualified staff is provided for play, guidance and safety, and while it is strongly encouraged for parents to mingle, network and support one another, the essence of our organization is to allow parents and children to interact in public places the way they want to, in ways only parents in similar situations could understand, and to fortify that connection that is sadly and too often inhibited in public places.
Auptimism.org is a California Nonprofit Corporation with IRS 501C3 recognition.
Your donation is tax deductible. Auptimism.org Tax ID Number 27-2296288