Special event held in Kelowna for moms of children on Autism spectrum

Click to play video: 'Special event for moms of children on Autism spectrum'
Special event for moms of children on Autism spectrum
It is an uplifting event, one that is dedicated to moms of children on the Autism spectrum. The Goddess on the Go event took place earlier this week and brought together women who not only can relate to one another but also have a deep desire to give their children the best chance to soar in life. – Apr 29, 2024

A young man living with Autism opened a special night for moms and caregivers of children on the spectrum.

For some who attended the Goddess on the Go gathering on Wednesday evening, it was a rare night out.

“Some of them tell me it’s their only night of the year that they get to choose themselves and make the priority to get here,” said Tammy Gilmour, president of Autism Okanagan.

“Parenting kids with special needs comes with lots of challenges, and busy schedules, school, work, life. And so for mums to be able to find time for just themselves is often really difficult.”

Click to play video: 'Woman paddling 365 kilometres for Autism awareness'
Woman paddling 365 kilometres for Autism awareness

Erin Cooper has been attending for eight years and says she wouldn’t miss it.

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“This evening was my first event that I got to meet with other moms who were raising kids with Autism, and it was the most magical evening for me,” said Cooper.

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“There were moms who understood. I didn’t have to explain myself; they just got it.”

The annual event is hosted by Autism Okanagan, an organization that for many moms is a lifeline.

“People with such huge hearts that are volunteering their time and resources, and it’s like they are the caregivers for the caregivers,” said mom Erin Goward.

“It’s just so amazing how generous the people from Autism Okanagan.”

Click to play video: 'Autism Okanagan Dinner'
Autism Okanagan Dinner

The evening wasn’t just an opportunity to connect with other moms, but also a chance to be inspired.

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“Never, ever set the bar for these kids,” said Autism Okanagan founding member Vicki Cairns. “They will soar if you give them the opportunities.”

This is the 10th year for Autism Okanagan, which supports some 300 families across the valley every year.

“The prevalence of autism is increasing,” said Gilmour. “We don’t know exactly know why, but we do know that the diagnostic tools are better.”

She added that “if you have a diagnosis of Autism, it opens doors of opportunity for understanding, compassion and some additional support.

“We’ve seen lots of kids who are members of our community thrive in the right environments, with parents getting support, the kids getting programs that are specific to their needs.

“And that’s what we do why we do it, is to create an opportunity for kids to thrive.”

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