Portage County - Coffee, Tea & Autism

KENT

Meeting Dates:  3rd Friday of Every Month
Meeting Time:  7:00pm
Location:  Panera Bread · 4338 Kent Road, Stow OH 44224

Peer Facilitator:  Mary Richards

A little about Mary ... I am Mary Richards. I am a single woman raising an autistic grandchild. I have raised four children to adulthood already. I have worked in audit and finance and am currently working as the Chief Advocate for Tommy. I have experience leading groups of all sizes and ages both through my work history and my volunteer work with Girl Scouts and my church.

Like you I experience the joys and challenges of raising a special needs child. No two of our children are alike, but we have a similar journey. Tommy is considered on the mild to moderate end of the autism spectrum. I have concerns about his being able to live independently, making friends, being comfortable in the world at large. I want to help him have an enviable life full of confidence and joy.


RAVENNA

Meeting Dates:  4th Tuesday of Every Month
Meeting Time:  10:00am
Location:  Reed Memorial Library · 167 E. Main Street, Ravenna, OH 44266

Peer Facilitator:  Trina Bullard

A little bit about Trina ... I have a degree in secondary mathematics education, and have worked as a teacher and data programmer.  My husband and I have two sons, 9 and 3.  I have been very fortunate to be a stay-at-home mom since shortly after the birth of our first son.   After our nine year old, James, missed all of the one year old developmental milestones, we began our journey into the world of special needs.  James was diagnosed with autism before he turned two.  Our amazing journey has been filled with ups and downs, but has taught me more than I could have ever imagined.  James is verbal, but like so many parents, I want him to be happy now, but fear his future.  Becoming involved with the Autism Society has shown me therapies and opportunities for James that I would not have known about otherwise.  Our Coffee, Tea, and Autism group has been such a support in my life.  Hearing others’ stories and seeing their smiling, nodding, and encouraging faces have given me even more strength to be James’s primary advocate.

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