Some of our younger members think we have closed our doors for good. We would like to offer our LAAFS (Little Autism Aspergers Friendship Society 4-9 years of age) members, a read-a-long book program. Books would be bought, dropped off at the member's home, Zoom meeting set-up, and a virtual reading session done. They would see familiar faces, staff and other members.
We would send a list of possible titles to families, have them choose their top 3, decide the most popular, notify the families of the book and the date of the Zoom program.
Who Will it Benefit?
We currently have over 500 active families. We also have new families joining every couple of weeks ... even during this pandemic!
Since March 13, 2020, our members, like so many others, have faced the challenges of isolating from friends, family and the world as they know it. Who knows what the new normal will look like. Isolation has always been an issue for the autism community. The current climate created by the pandemic has increased feelings of isolation and loneliness. Removal of routine is extremely difficult for individuals with autism. There may not be adequate supports in the home to deal with extended periods of self-isolation. The mental health of everyone, parents, children, siblings, is at risk.
We are looking forward to when we can once again run programs & activities. We anticipate fewer attendees, modified hours, and the need to follow guidelines laid out by Alberta Health Services. We will continue with the online & virtual programs we have developed so far. Other programs will be introduced as members/families suggest and as circumstances allow.
Our members and their families need us. Through this program, we can help alleviate some of their fear of the unknown and bring a modicum of normalcy to their lives.