Armenian Autism Outreach Project welcomes you to 2021, and our new newsletter! What better way than to share all that we accomplished in 2020 while looking forward to a new year full of opportunities!
We know very well that these have been difficult times for our families. Not only are we all dealing with having to work from home, but we must do so with all our kids sitting by our sides. We have heard from many families about the challenges of trying to educate children with special needs from home, while adapting to ABA, speech, OT, adaptive skills, and so much more via telehealth.
Some of our families have had to deal with challenges in our homeland, losing family members to the war, and watching their loved ones suffer the consequences of the outcome. Others faced difficulties here with their children struggling with the emotional pressures of being stuck at home. But, through it all, our families have shown resilience as we stuck together and supported each other at the most difficult of times. We learned to accept that things are just not going to be ideal. The goal now is to minimize the regression and keep communication with our community.
Just before the “lock-down” our parents had a wonderful opportunity to enjoy each other at our annual Parents Night Out in February 2020. Who would have known what would follow! Throughout the Stay-at-home order, AAOP has continued to host events, albeit virtual, throughout the year. Church services (organized by Father Ghevont of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Crescenta Valley) on Facebook Live and Parent Connect (an intimate parent support group) via Zoom turned out to be very well received. We also hosted informative Webinars as well as a robust Christmas Virtual Party all online! Moms were pampered with Mother’s Day Gift Bags delivered to their door, and the kids had the joy of participating in art projects after the church services throughout the year.
Our families had the opportunity to make a group therapeutic art project, thanks to Nina and 2BeeHappy Art Therapy, keep active with HMEM Hrashq sports program, and continue to learn from the Lanterman Armenian Parent Support Group as well as the Bi-Weekly Armenian Parent Group meetings hosted by Modern Support Services.
All in all, it was a year packed with laughter and tears, but most of all, it is the friendships that are created in such a dedicated group of families that makes up our very own AAOP.
Now… let’s see what 2021 has in store for us! Whatever it is, we know our families are ready to face it together.