Yesterday we held our first Drop-in for Girls on the Spectrum Ottawa. I was very excited and also quite nervous. I really wanted it to go well. I started setting up 3 hours prior to the start time – wanting everything to be just right. My hope for the first Drop-in was that if at least one girl came to play with Miriam it would all be worth it.
Miriam was so excited and kept asking when I thought other kids would get there. She was ready to play! As 1 pm came and went I thought, “People will come but maybe closer to 1:30”. At 2 pm and about 10 questions later from Miriam as to when kids would get there, I realized that most likely no one would be coming today. Mir and I still had fun! We molded clay, made crafts, played Jenga and hung out on the soft pillows. It was great!
I still have to admit though I had a pit in my stomach – did I get this all wrong? Was there really a gap that needed to be filled?
Before letting self doubt completely take over, I started recalling the many articles on girls with autism that I had read, the googling of programs for girls in Ottawa (several, but they were all full) and the words of support from many “in the know”. I decided to turn my thinking around. “Yes, this is needed!” and as a few friends and family mentioned to me later in the day – in reminiscence of Field of Dreams, “If you build it they will come”. I do believe there is a need because we are experiencing this need ourselves – there must be others out there just like us. We just need to get the word out.
Girls on the Spectrum Ottawa is a not for profit Drop-in group for girls of all ages on the Autism Spectrum and their parents. The drop in runs every Sunday from 1-3 pm at Orleans United Church. Games, arts and crafts, Lego, play doh, puzzles, parental peer support and more are all available.
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