As a future teacher, I am always on the lookout for great programs that involve educating. I have recently come across a great organization that specializes in special programs for autistic children and young adults. This organization is Unending Promise. Unending Promise provides people with autism meaningful experiences that they otherwise probably wouldn’t have gotten. Unending Promise believes that people with autism have a purpose, a worth, and should hold as many skills as possible.
Unending Promise was started by Lucinda Schaeffer and is currently run by herself and a great team of advocates. Schaeffer has been lucky enough to experience having an autistic child first hand. Her first born was given the gift of autism and her whole family has grown from it. She says, “When my son, Adam, was diagnosed with autism in 2005, I began a journey on a path I never knew existed. The dreams I had for my little boy suddenly changed, and the picture of his future seemed to blur. One thing that never changed was the promise I made to him on the night he was born. As I held my newborn baby in my arms, I whispered to him, ‘I will love you forever.’”
She investigated supports for autistic children and could find nothing on events for them specifically. She states on Unending Promise’s website, unendingpromise.org, “Unending Promise was founded in August 2012 as a way to help children with autism throughout their adult lives. As we have grown, we have learned a great deal from the people who have joined us on the journey. We are here to provide support and information, and it is our desire to offer meaningful and appropriate opportunities for individuals living with special needs and their families. The families we serve directly inspire everything we do. Much like the creation of our organization, we believe that if we can dream it, we can make it happen.”
Schaeffer wants her son, and all the other autistic children, to have as many experiences as possible. She also strives to have as much support for all autistic children and young adults, even after they age out of the education system. Why stop after they are 21? She started Unending Promise for just that reason.
Unending Promise has monthly events for autistic children and their parents. There are so many opportunities for the children and their families.
Meet Up and Create is a very popular paint night where everyone meets up and creates a beautiful painting. This is a great way for the children and young adults to express themselves through art. They are guided through a painting and are encouraged to have fun!
Meet Up at the Mall is another great event for everyone to have some independence. The children and young adults can have a great time shopping, talking, and hanging out with good friends!
These two events are only the beginning! Make sure to check out their website and Facebook page to get more information on events and get-togethers!
All events are by RSVP and are first come first serve! So, if you or someone you know has an autistic child and wants to get involved feel free to sign up!