Wow! What a day. When we embarked on this journey called Autism almost 9 years ago, we had no idea where it would take us. In fact, that’s the scary part of having a child with a developmental disorder – none of the books you read when planning for your firstborn mention that he won’t be able to be left alone EVER, or that he may be your last child to fully potty train. Scary stuff. We’ll delve more into that in a later post. Anyway, we’re not the type to sit around struggling alone. We can’t help but get into things as deeply as we can. I think I mentioned that the other day, we’re THAT family. We do all we can to be advocates for Jake and others like him who cannot speak for themselves. Beth’s been on the board of directors at the Autism Society of Maine, a non-profit organization that connects people on the spectrum with services they need. Beth and I are registered Autism Information Specialists with them and get to travel the state providing education and advocacy for those in need. Cool program. We were also tapped to participate in Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s video “Making our Way: Autism.” That was an amazing experience.
Today we got yet another chance to give back. Catholic Charities of Maine is a fantastic service that our family found nearly by accident. They provide case management services for us. They help find trainings (and funding for those trainings), connect us with professionals, help us get appointments, shorten wait times, and help connect us with goods and services Jake needs. We were recently asked to help make promotional video for their child case management services department. As early as October, there will be a link (and of course I’ll share when it becomes available) on their website featuring our vignette.
We got to bring the whole family to Bangor, ME, get mic’d up, posed and professionally lit for the interview portion of the piece. Kind of exciting!
When we were done with our piece, the kids got to join us on the couch and we started taking “B” roll. B roll is the video that plays behind voice-overs and stuff like that. So, while you’re listening to Beth or I answer a question, you’ll get to see the kids playing in the background, or us snuggling on the couch trying to act natural.
After the formal interview part of the promo, we got to go to the Maine Children’s Museum for some unstructured FUN! We had a blast! Of course, admission was paid for by Catholic Charities – THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
There was even a Dino Dig section where the kids got to dig for “fossils” and examine artifacts in glass cases.
The kids had a great time putting on masks. Jake doesn’t look like he had fun, but trust me, he did!
We got to pretend to be dock workers, truck drivers, bongo drum players, even climb inside a huge beaver dam.
In no time at all, the kids were able to forget they were being tailed by their own personal camera crew. Greg and Liz were super friendly and made us feel comfortable.
After all that playing, it was time to eat so we went to a family favorite – Chili’s. We even found our favorite server working. Her name is Gail and she’s crazy! She was happy to meet the kids and even introduced us to a salsa/ranch mix she lovingly referred to as ‘crack sauce.’ When it arrived, Liv asked if she could be the first to try crack sauce. I gave Gail a stern look and thanked her for introducing Liv to the concept of crack.
We had a lot of fun, and felt blessed we were able to help out such an excellent company who has done so much for us.