Vangeli's Bus Party
In December of 2017, Tom and I were hit with what we thought was the most devastating news, learning that our son Vangeli was on the Autism Spectrum. In the months after his diagnosis, we struggled with coping and understanding his diagnosis. We even tried to hide his condition in hopes that he would soon “overcome” it. Thankfully we realized very quickly that we would not be able to run from his diagnosis forever and with that we made the decision to announce our son’s disorder to our closest family and friends by our participation in the 2018 Lehigh Valley Autism Speaks Walk.
Once we made the announcement, we did not know what to expect. We set really low expectations. What we did receive was an incredible outpouring of love, support and fundraising the likes of which we never thought was ever possible. We were very touched, honored and humbled by such an incredible support group.
Since the 2018 walk we have seen Vangeli make and continue to make a number of small improvements. He is in Kindergarten and currently enrolled in the autistic support classroom at Farmersville Elementary School where he is thriving. He continues to work very hard at all his therapy sessions and is slowly making steady progress. But with all the positive steps there have been a number of setbacks. Setbacks that have slowed his progress and setbacks that have left us and everyone around him scratching their heads. Throughout these past two years we have come to realize that there is no straight and narrow path through the life of an autistic child. Although many of his behaviors may seem strange, we have come to realize they are the manner in which Vangeli is able to regulate his overloaded sensory system. His noise canceling headphones help him regulate his heightened sense of hearing. His constant moving around and visual cues from our portable devices helps him regulate his anxiety. He is current struggle is learning to move to a quiet space and reregulate his sensory needs when they are overloaded. It has been a struggle not only for us as his parents to learn and understand what tactics we need to employ but especially those around us who truly want to hold a special place in Vangelis life. But we have put our faith in God that he will provide us with the patience, guidance and answers that we will need to help Vangeli along this path. And with that we would like to announce that we will be participating in the 2020 Lehigh Valley Autism Speaks walk with our focus on bringing awareness to the sensory needs of autistic children..
Join our team in raising funds to have a voice with legislators, to have access to the information and resources we need, to support research and medical discovery, and to help fund local services through the mission of Autism Speaks. Together, we can accomplish amazing things for people living with autism. Join the team and begin your fundraising journey today! Set your individual goal at $150 and you’ll be eligible for a Walk Tee Shirt – which, by the way, was purchased from a business that employs people with autism.