April is considered Autism Awareness Month and April 2nd, in particular, is recognized as World Autism Awareness Day. Thousands of structures in many cities around the world are also illuminated in blue to shine a light on this particular cause. This cause is one of particular significance to our family as our son was diagnosed as autistic a little over a year ago, shortly before his fourth birthday. It was just the start of a long road that we are journeying on, but it also provided some insight as we finally knew what we were dealing with. Our son would probably have been the typical "fall-through-the-cracks" kind of kid as most people kept telling us that nothing was wrong when we first began to notice missed milestones. "He's just shy," they said, but we suspected that something deeper was going on. At first we thought it was a speech/language delay, as he was almost three years old and still not speaking in very long sentences. And he was repeating things we said or that he heard on TV. A lot. We haven't shared our story with many people yet, but figured there is no better day than today. We are still very early on in this journey of ours. Our son turned five a few months ago and has been in private therapy for the last nine months. We have seen some improvements with therapy, but there are, of course, still many issues to be dealt with. There are long wait lists for publicly funded programs, but all the research shows that the best gains are made when children receive help at least before six years of age, so we did not want to wait. With the help of my husband's parents, we are able to get our son the assistance that he needs, at least for now. The wait list for government funded programming is currently close to five years in our region. There are so many children just waiting for help right now, that it breaks my heart. Our son has been on the list for a little over a year, but we are still #200+ on the list. Many times, my husband and I have pondered the reason why our son would have to face this struggle. We know that there is a greater reason for this, but we don't know yet the purpose. I have been brainstorming some ideas over the last several months and have decided to roll out several fundraising projects at my lil sweet pea this month in support of a local autism awareness charity. All of the profits from the projects listed below will be donated to Unity For Autism. This organization provides grants to non-profit organizations who assist individuals living with Autism. Unity for Autism is committed to making sure donations reach these families and make an profound impact on their lives. I hope you will join me in raising some money for a great cause this month. Here is what we have coming up:
1) sweet pea picks - fundraiser edition! (*on sale date: monday, april 7th // limited quantities) Sweet pea picks are back and you won't want to miss out on this fantastic instalment. I've approached a few fantastic shops to bring you some fabulous items. Normally, sweet pea picks are a surprise, but this time you'll get to see what you're getting before you purchase. This sweet pea picks contains the following: • Exclusive-to-us coin pouch/purse from marine parents. This coin purse is great for holding anything from loose coins to cards. I'm a huge fan of marine parents and love to support this talented work-at-home mama. • Arrow necklace from wifey singer. I met this inspiring mama through buying one of her handmade necklaces through her Etsy shop when I was part of a handmade exchange. I definitely don't think it's coincidental that I happened upon her blog and shop, as she has been a big inspiration to me in her positive attitude and outlook while parenting a child on the Autistic spectrum. One of her hashtags on Instagram really sums it up for me: #autismisblessingme. • Kids Kawaii Cloud T-shirt from Whistle & Flute. I first heard about this company through Instagram and fell in love with their fun and adorable designs. They are a small business based out of Victoria, B.C.
2) Giveaway coming up!
Help us spread the word about our fundraising items and you could win a super special version of the sweet pea pick! It will have the arrow necklace, a Whistle & Flute LOVE t-shirt and kawaii cloud button, *and* a one-of-a-kind mommy and me ruffled wristlet set from marine parents! Earn extra entries when you purchase a sweet pea pick!
3) Custom snap AppleCheeks cloth diaper cover (*on sale date: TBA)
Anyone who knows me knows that I'm all about cloth diapers. And I love me some AppleCheeks! When I was thinking about fundraising ideas, one of the first things I thought of doing was a custom diaper cover, and Shannon at the AppleCheeks Rejuvenation Clinic totally helped me bring my idea to life! We took a regular St. Lucia AppleCheeks cover and swapped out the snaps. Oh and it's going to have a custom tag as well! Can't wait to share it with you guys at the end of the month. I thank you for your continued support of my small business. I appreciate each and every one of you so very much. It is thanks to you that I am able to be at home with my children and still contribute (even if it's just a bit) financially to our household. Much love from our family to yours!