January 7, 2016 | By: Monica Castillo
Our son was about 9 years old when he was diagnosed with Autism. Today, almost 10 years later, I remember that day like it was yesterday. We had long understood there was something going on, but we weren't prepared for that one word: AUTISM.
We searched for answers for so long and when we got them, all they seemed to bring were grief, guilt, anger and confusion. Perhaps we secretly hoped that a diagnosis would make things better, but it didn't change our child's struggles or the isolation we felt.
Once the school introduced support services and therapies for our son, we began to look for help and support for ourselves and our family. One of the first support groups we found in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) was Autism Council for Educational Support and Scientific Studies (Aces3) in McAllen.
We were able to attend support group meetings and meet other families living with Autism. We quickly found that connecting with others for peer support was essential on our journey. Knowing that you have someone to turn to who has traveled that same road and is willing to help you find resources, compare notes or just sit and listen when you need to talk, can make a world of difference.
It was a relief to see that we really weren't alone, and that other families understood what we were going through. We found a strong caring community and a great support for our family.
Aces3 provides monthly support group meetings, educational presentations, child care (during support group meetings), and family and community activities that include: A Summer Bash Swim Party, RGV Autism Day at The Capitol and the Annual Autism Awareness 5K Run and Walk. Visit the Aces3 website for more information on upcoming meetings, family gatherings and events. You might also want to check out the Connecting with Other Parents of Children with Disabilities page on this website.