LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

I’m excited to share some changes at All in Need that will help us grow as we move forward. I’m pleased to announce that Kirstin McGrath is joining the AiN team as Program Director. She brings with her 500 hours of volunteer experience with pediatric therapy clinics, a hippotherapy clinic, and overnight camps for children with Autism.  Kirstin’s long term goal is to open her own therapy clinic as an Occupational Therapist. You have likely already met Kirstin over the past few months, as she has been involved in our programs and special events, so she is probably already a familiar face.

Seeing someone in the Program Director role has been a goal of ours for a long time, as it will allow me to expand into the Executive Director. In fact, now that will be my full time role. Through this growth of labor, Kirstin can focus on the many details associated with Revive and special events, while I can focus on obtaining grants — something I haven’t had as much time for in the past. This will hopefully allow us to further expand our programs and outreach.

This news comes with one additional change; my family will be relocating to Oregon in order to get my son Yaakov, who is on the spectrum, the help that he so desperately needs. As many of you know, over the past few months our lives have been turned upside down as Yaakov has faced numerous behavioral issues at school. Jacob and I know it’s time we make a change. For the remainder of 2018, Kirstin and I will be working closely together as she transitions into her new role.  I will be working from Oregon, but will be back in the Bay Area around Revive dates in order to make sure the program transition is seamless for our families.

I want to make it clear that although I’ll be working remotely, All in Need will have my full attention. In fact, it will have more of my attention than in the past. While living in California I juggled an additional full time job with the school district. Now I’ll have time to properly devote to both AiN and Yaakov.

Please know that AiN is my “baby” and the families we serve mean the world to me, and to Jacob and the board.  As I step into the Executive Director role, our programs will continue to expand and better support your families. Who knows… at some point we may even get to organize a satellite team in Oregon!

Although it’s hard to step away from the day-to-day program interactions, Jacob and I feel this is a win-win situation. We get to support our son. Our son gets his service dog. And once again because of our son and our family’s needs AiN will continue to grow and get more support!  Thank you for your understanding.

Wishing you rest,

Autumn Green

 

Vacationing with our Special Needs Son

20130731_150456Vacationing with Yaakov isn’t the most relaxing experience we have. Usually after two days of being away from our house he is asking to go home. Sometimes it isn’t asking, but crying and begging to go home.

This week, seemed to push him more than normal.  First we picked up his older brother, Austin, who was in Santa Cruz for church camp. Then headed off to Las Vegas, believing both boys would enjoy seeing different parts of the world walking down the strip.

I am a planner when it comes to vacations; I was even before Yaakov’s diagnoses of Aspergers.  Each day I have planned out on what the family and I will do.

We decided to stay the night at Whiskey Pete’s right on the board of Nevada and California Saturday night this allowing the boys to enjoy the roller coaster ride and log ride at Buffalo Bills on Sunday.  We stopped at the Silverton for lunch and then hung out at the Bass Pro Shop just to make our oldest son the happiest kid in the world. Then we checked into the Palace Station for the rest of the week.

Monday, came and though our plans were just to walk the strip we agreed to listen to a two hour time share thing so we could get free tickets to the Shark Reef and $1001097954_10200435759838407_1139156462_n restruant.com gift card.  The boys got to play games at the resort and Jacob and I patiently listened to their spiel and turned down their continuous offers of a “great deal”.

Afterwards, we headed to the Luxor were we knew our oldest son would love that casino since he loves the Greek and Egyptian mythology. Then we headed to the shark reef and by this point Yaakov was done. We made sure he had food in him and kept pulling him along, because it bothers me that so often we leave when Austin is enjoying something or we spilt up and one of us stays with Austin while the other goes with Yaakov to keep a meltdown from happening.

We stopped at a couple casinos like New York New York and Paris because we knew Yaakov would love Paris and both boys would love to see the roller coaster at New York New York.  Then we headed for Shuttle to get back to our hotel.  It was 9:30 when Yaakov’s meltdown started and pretty soon he was kicking and hitting Jacob and I and next thing I know he is throwing himself around hard enough that Jacob and him went flying off the bed. I don’t know how but Jacob moved enough to take the night stand in the arm instead of Yaakkov getting it in the head. The horror I felt as I watched it coming towards Yaakov’s head. Pretty soon he was slamming his head against the wall crying.  Of course, months ago I could laugh at his meltdown but Monday evening all I felt was resentment and fear.

20130801_140102I knew what little plans we had, now had to include keeping Yaakov’s behavior  in check. It really didn’t matter if the rest of us wanted to spend the next day running around Vegas or not we had to think about Yaakov and the meltdowns that could disturb our hotel neighbors and the fact that he could hurt himself in a fit of rage. The fear comes in when you aren’t close to your doctor’s and what would happen if he hurts himself in a meltdown and you don’t have the doctor’s you have been dealing with for years. How do you explain to a doctor who has never seen your child’s outbursts?

Tuesday morning, I ran into our hotel neighbor and the lady said not to worry about it that her and her husband work in a school district and Yaakov’s behaviors aren’t going to upset them even if they hear his outburst.

We spent the day at the pool then visited New York New York to ride the roller coaster and did the CSI Experience in the evening allowing Yaakov to rest and not pushing him another day.

Wednesday, we took the boys to Circus Circus Adventure Dome around 1 pm and left  at 11:15 pm and as we pulled into our Hotel parking garage Yaakov started throwing up.  Too much spinning, hungry (had a late lunch, and ate snacks but planned on eating the $1.99 burger at midnight) or dehydrated your guess is as good as mine.  He wanted me to make him a sandwich in the room and go to bed, so him and I stayed up in the room while Austin and Jacob enjoyed the cheap burger.

Thursday, enjoyed several hours by the pool and then went to the Pirate show at Treasure Island and headed back to our room.

Friday we headed home and though the drive was long it wasn’t bad.

Saturday, as the family started to get back into our daily routine Yaakov didn’t even change out of his PJs. I know I should care, but honestly it seems vacations are very 20130727_193610hard for him and he has to “reset” himself.

I was so angry with myself for resenting him on Monday, because the truth of the matter is I know I pushed him and I know better.  At times, even as his mother I forget he has a lot of good days and he looks so typical I allow myself to push him too far.

I don’t feel sorry for us, but at times I forget to be grateful for the life I have. Welcome to being a parent not just any parent but a parent of a child with special needs.

AiN is in Brittany Erin Photography Blog

Brittany Erin Photography blogged about AiN and the Green Family! Please visit Brittany Erin Photography on Facbook and like her page.

Make sure you call Brittany to schedule your pictures today. She took amazing pictures of the Green boy’s and caught their personalities and the activities they love. Worked patiently with the youngest, who is camera shy. Families that have children with special needs give her a call you will be thrilled the photograph she will snap of your child.