My name is Matthew Wallick and I am an individual on the autistic spectrum. I have recently been working with OaSN and would like to communicate the effectiveness they have had in my life. I have been involved with numerous government and private organizations and have had limited to no success. However, with OaSN they immediately gave me the responsibility and opportunity to be involved with something meaningful that has given me a sense of value and accomplishment.
I have sat in on the daily workings of OaSN and witnessed how the personal journey of each of the members positively impacts the children and the adults who care for those on the spectrum. The resources, services and activities provided by OaSN enable the family throughout the process in better preparing individuals on the spectrum for future challenges. OaSN builds upon intangibles like self-confidence and responsibility through play and engagement in safe and interactive environments fit for individuals on the spectrum.
They aid adults like myself by coordinating group meeting that give individuals on the spectrum a sense of belonging through interaction with others on the spectrum. OaSN provides individuals on the spectrum with information and leads to better prepare them for the entering the workforce. Local organizations are invited in to assist members in job coaching and job placement.
In my case, OaSN has gifted me with the responsibility of becoming a sitting board member and assisting to a varying degree on the daily workings of OaSN. My peers at OaSN openly embrace my gifts and patently humor my shortcomings. This greatly contrasts my experience in the general workforce where my social missteps are often met with aggression, hostility and judgment. I have a newly found sense of belonging and self-worth in helping others like myself and being given an opportunity by such a worthwhile organization to positively impact those in the autistic community.