Empowered Voices Leadership Meeting Series

The Empowered Voices Leadership Group is comprised of self advocates
who are interested in meeting new people, sharing their
stories, and developing self-advocacy and leadership skills. Members of
the group plan the meeting agendas, speakers, and outreach activities.
The group meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month via
Google Meets from 6pm to 8pm ET. Topics include Person-Centered
Planning, Self-Advocacy Skills, and Public Speaking.

This week’s topic is Healthy Eating.

Google Meets Joining Information:
Video call link: https://meet.google.com/iuu-miaf-wio
Or dial: (US) +1 304-908-9025 PIN: 199 210 961 #
For more information contact Melissa Skiffen at mskiffen@achieva.info
or visit www.achieva.info


Monday’s Spontaneous Promise

This post-Easter Monday morning started with grey skies and a black cup of coffee, but things became colorful in an instant. What I thought would be a quiet beginning to my fourth week as Director of Operations for Autism Connection turned out to be delightfully busy, and quite literally, energetic. I was settled at my desk, setting priorities for the upcoming week, but the morning had other plans.

We had an unexpected visit from a local father and son who were looking for guidance in transitioning from school to work. The young man filled the building with vibrant energy and immense curiosity as he explored the offices, halls, and the contents of the refrigerator, before gravitating to Lu’s office for a talk. We found resources, and we found systemic issues that need to be addressed.

After our guests departed, we hopped on a meeting with a local elementary school principal to plan an assembly for students so they can learn about the autism spectrum, inclusion, and kindness. In the midst of this meeting, we had another visitor who popped in to say hello. She introduced herself to the principal on the virtual call, and he was delighted by the interruption.

This is a good sign.

As Lu and I debriefed, we got a call concerning an incarcerated adult who is in dire need of help, ranging from diagnosis to placement. The call served as a reminder that misunderstood behavior and miscommunication can lead to catastrophic results for people in the autism community. We brainstormed ways to help, and we explored what needs to be done to keep it from happening again.

All of this before 11:00 AM.

Setting a plotted schedule for the week is important, but sometimes the most significant priorities arrive unexpectedly. The beauty of Autism Connection is its ability to adjust to the needs of our community and the grand spontaneity that comes with working in this field.

This is a good sign.