Since 2011 OaSN has been helping and providing autism services to individuals, families and caregivers in Marion, Alachua, Citrus, Lake, and Sumter counties. Our Testimonials speaks how we have helped the autism community.
Do you have a story of how OaSN has helped you? We would love to hear about it.
5 year old son who is on the spectrum
OaSN has helped not only our 5 year old son who is on the spectrum, but our whole family as well. We have taken part in the Yoga Classes, Parent Support Meetings, Parent’s Night Out and have received several swim lessons for our son, all free of charge. We appreciate and are grateful for all the wonderful services and support OaSN has to offer the many families that have children/adults with autism in our community and surrounding areas. It is a great blessing and privilege to be a part of a wonderful organization.
diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome when I was 3
I was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome when I was 3 years old. I am 22 now. It has been nearly 4 years since I moved to Ocala from Long Island, New York. OaSN has really helped me establish a new and better life here in Ocala. Through this amazing organization, I have formed new relationships, including meeting my current girlfriend of 7 months. I also met and am continuing to exercise with a personal trainer, Rob LaSalle, who specializes in individuals with challenges like mine. Karen Vega at OaSN also recommended me to become a board member at CARD in Gainesville, through which I then attended the 2013 CARD Conference. This conference allowed me to learn a lot of information about my Autism, which has greatly improved my understanding of myself. Overall, OaSN is doing a great service for the community. They have really helped me and continue to do so.
my son Jacob
Years ago, when my son Jacob was first diagnosed with autism, Marion County was a wasteland for special needs families. There was support or services specifically for parents of children with autism. My husband and I were quite at a loss how to even start to get help. The world of autism is a lonely place. Family and friends can be there for you, but they really can’t help. We had to find our way alone. Services were sparse in Marion County at that time and I drove as far as Seminole County weekly to get help for Jacob. After several years of doctors’ visits, therapists, insurance fights IEP fights, etc. we kept on saying how nice it would be if there were a guide in Marion County, “The ABCs after diagnosis.” Now we have that guide. Karen Vega and the Outreach autism Services Network staff have developed a guide for the Best Outcomes™ Resource Guide. In addition, Karen (and her staff) have held the hand of many a distraught parent and led them through the maze of insurance, therapies, and school issues. She is a constant source of encouragement and advice and only a phone call away. OaSN has developed community amongst the families of children with ASD. From the Facebook support group, to the various services, I no longer feel alone. The respite care that OaSN provides (FOR FREE!) has been invaluable to me. As a homeschool mom who works full time from home as well as homeschooling a child with special needs, I rarely get time to just be: this respite time is precious to me and I know my son is well cared for with the staff that has been screened by OsSN. We also love the classes: art, yoga, etc. where my son can participate without fear, all provided free of charge by OsSN. We also received swimming lessons from OASN which have made my boy a little fish and given him much pleasure all summer and much more peace of mind to mama. The many little things that OsSN provides do so much to lift my heart such as providing allergy free foods at Christmas time for families with children like my son who have multiple food allergies and presents for the children. Many children with ASD, including mine, have co-morbid medical issues and with so much money going to doctors and medicines, these gifts are well appreciated. Thank you OaSN for all you do and the blessing you have been to my family!
find a sense of community
OaSN has helped me find a sense of community with other parents that know the day to day struggles and joys that come with having a child on the spectrum. I’ve met wonderful people (OaSN staff and volunteers) that have helped me find the resources to help my son as well as great events and activities. They truly care for my family and our well being
effectiveness OaSN have had in my life
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.
Our grandson David
Our grandson David has gained self confidence through swimming lessons provided by OASN. He is talking more, decided on his own to go trick or treating and that took a tremendous amount of courage and confidence. thank you OASN for all your advice and help!
my 7yr old
For me and for my 7yr old “aspie” son, OaSN has been a truly blessing! Moving from Puerto Rico looking for better services for my son, I was looking on the internet and printed out from their website this kind of “book” that has all the info that i needed in one place! The yoga classes, the parent support meetings, Pediasure for free…well..what else can i say! For my experience..they are awesome! Thanks so much for all the help
OaSN Best Outcomes Swim Program
I have a son that has a genetic disorder that causes a lot of different issues and we were worried he would not be able to learn to swim. Cindy and her girls had him swimming within one summer! And they did it with a smile on their face and never yelled or treated him roughly like we had experienced at other swim schools. We love it there!
VERY thankful and appreciative
I am VERY thankful and appreciative of services that the Outreach autism Services Network has provided to and for me. I was a total loss of where and how to get help for my son. If not for their assistance, I would have been TOTALLY in the dark.Just the peace of mind knowing that they are a phone call away to provide contact info or just a listening ear gives me joy.
proud Autism Mom
The Outreach Autism Services Network has been a great help to my family, in just the few months that we have been in contact with them. Our two year old son was recently diagnosed with Autism. My husband and I had no clue as to what the next step would be. I heard about OASN, and joined their Facebook Support Group. OASN has been such a blessing. In the short time we’ve been associated with them we have had opportunities that we wouldn’t have had otherwise.
Our son was able to take 4 weeks of free swimming lessons over the summer. This was so important to my husband and me, because our son loves water but doesn’t understand the dangers that could come from falling in and not being able to swim.
We wanted to get therapy for our son, but were not aware of any local organizations that offered the types of therapy he needs. OASN was able to refer us to Kidspot and Behavioral Analysis Support Services. We are currently in the process of getting approval for him to participate in Occupational Therapy and ABA therapy.
OASN offers several opportunities for families to come together and offer each other support. This is immeasurable in the type of support it can offer. Raising a child with special needs can be very overwhelming at times, and it can be comforting to talk to other parents/families that understand how you are feeling.
This organization is not only an asset to the Autism community, but to the Ocala community as well. It reaches so many families that are frustrated, desperate, and lost, and they guide them to the right resources in order to get help.