Family Stories

The Igoe Family Story

Girl Power 2

Our daughter started the AutismUp Social Skills group in the middle of quarrantine. Halfway through our socially distanced time during the COVID-19 pandemic, our girl had been in desperate need of social interaction. She had previously had friends who didn’t understand her very well, less so through digital communication. She was misunderstood and made to feel less than adequate around those peers. She also happens to be the lone extrovert in our very introverted family, so I knew we weren’t giving her the emotional social environment that she needed. We had looked into AutismUp in the past, however, living in Naples, NY, meant driving for an hour to go to an hour class and then driving another hour back home. When my husband and I found out that AutismUp was doing remote zoom classes, we felt we had nothing to lose to give it try. That was two seasons ago. She has been one of the older if not the oldest kid in the class, but we have felt like this allowed her to be around other children that had similar circumstances; being misunderstood by their peers, or didn’t have a lot of opportunity for social situations. It also gave her skills to build new relationships and get to know the other kids. When she turned 13 in the Spring, we decided to keep her in the younger group and add her to the second social group as well. I think it has even empowered her to feel as though she is mentoring the younger kids and helping them in situations that she has been through when she was younger. She has decided now that when she grows up she wants to be a Special Education teacher to help Autistic kids like her. We have loved watching her grow through this season and though she has her ups and downs, we know that AutismUp’s Social Skills with Friends class has improved her understanding and relationships around her. With this in mind, we have decided that the drive to Rochester, is entirely worth the relationships and friendships that she can be a part of and we plan on this summer having her be a part of the Teen Kinect class on Saturdays. And because of her progress, we have also decided to have her sister join her in the Teen Kinect class and the Teen Minecraft class on Thursdays! This growth through the classes and movement to new classes following their ages will help them both be able to better navigate social situations in their personal lives and as they get older into their careers.......Cara Igoe (parent)

See all stories

Visionary Sponsors