Ronnie's Awesome List presents a guest article by Lynn Samuels, a personal chef, mom, and founder of S.T.A.R. Soccer, an autistic/special needs soccer team to help find ways to over come obstacles and the challenges ahead.
I am the proud mother of Hannah. My daughter was diagnosed with autism when she was just 2 years old. The great news is that we had time to get early intervention and that has made a remarkable difference in her young life. With many great therapy options and people guiding us, our path became a bit easier, more focused and less lonely. We were building a great community of professionals to help our daughter get to where she is today.
I’m not going to kid you, many days this journey is exhausting and frustrating. Then I step back and watch this amazing little girl who is happy, social, caring, lovable, funny, curious and feisty. I am blessed and privileged to be her mother. As I became more comfortable with where she is in life, I began to search further, finding a support group, and have met many wonderful people. I created the website 'Shaping Her World With Autism’ where I began to heal, help others, and put more focus on to my daughter and her needs. Now I have created the S.T.A.R. Soccer team which allows my daughter to be included in a sport she enjoys and for my husband and I to meet new parents that are dealing with similar situations.
If you’re a parent who is just learning about autism and trying to figure out how to manage your world, here are my personal tips that have helped me on this journey:
WHERE TO START
Marin Autism Collaborative or MAC hold monthly support meeting first Thursday of each month, I help facilitate these meeting. Held at Audistry studios 6:30 till 8448 du Bois St, San Rafael, CA 94901 · (415) 454-1037
* Next meeting: May 5, 6:30-8pm, about IEP's with Colleen Arnold, M.S.
SCHOOLS IN MARIN
Oak Hill, San Anselmo
Anova, San Rafael, Santa Rosa, Concord
The Helix Learning Center, San Rafael
Marin Schools Special Education Services, San Rafael
Student Accessibility Services (SAS) at College of Marin
All Children Academics, San Rafael
Star Academy, San Rafael, for students with learning differences
Special Needs Learning, County of Marin
LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS & AGENCIES
NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS & AGENCIES
CAMPS, CLASSES, & COLLEGE
SummerAde teens that work with special needs kids going to camp
Jumping for Joy, Marin Humane Society
Marinwood Pool, our daughter came here for private lessons, great instructors
Anat Baniel Method, San Rafael
San Francisco Bay Area Autism Society, Camps and Respite
FUN THINGS TO DO
Parents Night Out, Marinwood, San Rafael
Hillock Creek Ranch, Nicasio
Hooves for Harmony, Morning Star Farm, Novato
Lynn Samuels is a personal chef and founder of S.T.A.R. Soccer, an autistic/special needs soccer team to help find ways to over come obstacles and the challenges ahead, NOW OPEN FOR SIGN UPS. Her second, and more important job, is helping her autistic daughter Hannah be all that she can be. She lives in Marin with her husband and daughters. She is also writes for 'Shaping Her World With Autism’