Community. When I hear the word community, UNYFEAT automatically comes to mind. After my children were diagnosed, community took on a new definition. No longer did we just automatically belong or naturally “fit in”. Our family had to earn our invitation to family gatherings that weren’t Autism-friendly. We were glared at and talked about in public, often to our face or within earshot. Recreation and community outings weren’t in our vocabulary. School? Well, school, they just didn’t have the expertise yet to create meaningful community that accepts and understands my children’s individuality.
A lot has changed since the diagnosis, and with those changes came UNYFEAT.
Meaningful community comes natural to UNYFEAT. We are surrounded by parents who get the trials and tribulations we are faced with not only daily but for most, hourly. Everyday brings a new hurdle, that without UNYFEAT, I just don’t know if I would have the energy to jump it.
Our journeys all brought us to UNYFEAT for one reason or another. I believe we were brought here to continue to create a community of acceptance, that with time, will flow over into other communities creating a place where our children and families will automatically be welcomed and accepted. Businesses, schools, specialty programs that will meet us where we are and set up environments that are truly inclusive.
UNYFEAT is dedicated to building a community where everyone belongs. Of course, it is one person, one business, one teacher at a time. With the continued support of our families, board members and volunteers, and their dedication to the mission of UNYFEAT, we can continue to make huge strides. UNYFEAT begins with “U”. We need “U” more than ever to become involved.
Julie Buick, VP of Advocacy