Monday, 4 April 2011

Autism Winnipeg

Looking through facebook one day, I came upon a group called "Autism Winnipeg."  Given that there really isn't that much support out there for those with autism in their lives, I immediately joined the group.  I'm so glad I did!!!  If you're on facebook and live in Winnipeg, you definitely have to check this group out. 

Marni Wachs Zuke, the creator of the Autism Winnipeg Facebook Group is an amazing woman.  I've had the pleasure of meeting her in person a handful of times.  Sitting at Tim Horton's this Saturday, I really wanted to talk to her about the Autism Winnipeg Group she had created, and wanting to know more about her, but Marni wanted to know more about my ordeals with Dayton at his school.  We sat for almost two hours talking about my issues...  She's a saint!  She also came armed with two books (more like textbooks) for me to review. 

This book, Marni explained, works more along ABA therapy.

Marni says that this book is along the lines of RDI therapy.

I got a lot of reading ahead of me... 
Just a quick disclaimer...  Neither Marni or I are doctors, therapists, psychologists or acrobats.  Just saying...  The books are interesting to me, and she thought they may be of help to me and Dayton, so I'm just passing the information to the rest of you who want to learn more.

Back to Marni...
She started the Autism Winnipeg group to connect with other families in Winnipeg.  The only place for parents to go in Winnipeg are the Autism Society of Manitoba and a few other places...  On line, Marni explains, you can talk to someone or vent at any hour of the day or night, you can sit in your PJ's, drink a glass of wine or coffee and feel heard.  She takes the Autism Winnipeg group very seriously and views the group page in the same way she views her job.  She's super dedicated in letting autism families know what's happening in Winnipeg for them, and offer her unconditional support. 

I got to help Marni last summer start an autism soccer game last year.  Well, she did most of the work, I was her cheerleader...  This year I'm hoping she will help me start a play group for our kids on the spectrum with their siblings.  We both want a place where our kids are accepted for who they are, I just need a good kick in the buttocks to make it happen. 

Marni discusses many things on Autism Winnipeg, and she may or may not agree with all of the links she posts, but feels that she's obligated to share everything she comes across that may be helpful to an autism family.  She knows what it's like for someone to disagree with certain therapies, as she herself has chosen the ABA therapy approach for her 7 year old son.  A woman actually turned to her and said:  "I would never do that to my kid."  Because of this experience, she asks that everyone who joins Autism Winnipeg to please show respect to everyone in the group, and not be judgemental of each other.  Autism Winnipeg was created by Marni to support one another, not to tear each other down.  A difference of opinion is healthy, being critical and negative of each other is not.  Again, it boils down to acceptance.

Marni's description of Autism Winnipeg:

Do you have autism somehow in your life, and you live in Winnipeg or Manitoba? Then this is the right place for you! I searched for this group and it didn't exist; so I created it. Join the group and respectfully discuss and post all things related to autism. From personal to political - let's connect!!! This group embraces multiple perspectives. Join in the discussions as much or as little you like. I hope we can develop a dynamic peer networking hub of information, as well as a place to chat. Please feel free to respectfully discuss Winnipeg-specific services related to autism, but please no names or identifying information. Thanks so much! Although the group is for anyone and not just for parents of children with autism, here's a special shout out to them! We autism parents are passionate about discussing the challenges, helping our kids, and are MOTIVATED to go above and beyond for our beautiful kids! Let's have a conversation. 
Want more information?  Want to join?  Here's the link, and welcome to Autism Winnipeg!
Marni's words of wisdom in order to prepare me for my meeting with Dayton's school tomorrow:  "I'm neutral, I'm Teflon," then deflect back on the school staff...  I love it.  I'm Teflon baby!
Consider yourselves hugged!!!



  1. Hi Lou, I'm looking for a family affected by autism for an interview... would love to chat. :)

  2. Hi Joseph,

    I'd be happy to talk to you. Cell phone is 771-4546, home is 837-6308