I homeschool my daughter who has developmental delays and is autistic. At the start of the school year, I decided that I wanted my daughter to learn how to participate in a group and learn some new social skills. Karen was more than welcoming to us and encouraged us to join the “Hands-on-homeschooling program”.

At first, I felt uncomfortable because my daughters skills are limited and often cannot follow along with the group’s activities. Yet, every time I announced “today we have nature school” to my daughter, she lit up joy and excitedly got ready to go to “her school”.

Though there was excitement coming from my daughter, I still questioned if this was the right program for her. Then one day, my daughter started playing “nature school” with her dolls. My daughter, despite not always participating, was absorbing everything that Karen and the children did, and enjoyed replaying this experience with her dolls.

This was a real “aha” moment in my parenting. My child was learning and these experiences were important to her. I mentally open a door for myself and physically opened a door for my child.

So many of us want to live in an inclusive world, but rarely are we actually given the opportunity to do so. A simple “yes, everyone is welcome” from Karen and parent support from Singing Creek, allow for us as a society to grow together.

I hope anyone reading this who has their own special needs child and is looking for extracurricular activities for their child feels some encouragement to contact Singing Creek. Give your society a chance, give yourself chance, and most importantly give your kid a chance. You won’t be disappointed!

– Yvette

autistic child participating in homeschool Cottage Grove
autistic child neuro divergence with atlatl indigenous singing creek educational center
autistic child at homeschool crafts activities games inclusion

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