The story of a mother who gave birth to an autistic child.
Maagalim means circles in the Hebrew language. M’agalim Community Circles, a not for profit organization, has many goals, among which is to provide every individual who has special needs support and friendship and the inclusion he or she deserves.
Her name is Ayelet Sason; her story may be a story of many mothers and fathers who were given a challenging gift, an autistic child or a child with special needs.
I met Ayelet at a commemoration event for the Fallen in Israel’s wars. Here is Ayelet’s story, in her own words.
Ayelet’s Story in Her Own Words
Yarin is autistic, the doctor told me, and in that one second my life has changed. I must admit, raising an autistic child was not really what I planned for myself as a young mother on her parenting path. I did not think I would be a ‘special mom,’ until Yarin, my much beloved eldest son, was diagnosed autistic, at the age of two-years-old.
Every day, I wake up full of worries that while Yarin is growing up, there is not enough professional guidance and answers for him and for our family. A family that raises an autistic child faces ongoing challenges and for sure encounters many questions and a great need for support. But there is no one to accompany them and/or answer these questions.
I took an initiative and established Maagalim that has been active since June 2017 and was officially certified in October, 2017. Since then we have already organized eight children’s events and lectures for their families.
Among the events we have organized were Jewish holiday celebrations, sports day in collaboration with Team Israel cycling team, a colorful Valentine’s Day celebration with many volunteers helping us and many other fun activities. Our future goal is to establish a warm home for children with autism spectrum, which will be a place to instill in them independent living habits, help finding employment for them and integrating them into society in various frameworks.
There is not a day that passes by that I do not have thoughts and fears about the future of my Yarin and his friends. I have no doubt that anyone who parented a child, let alone a child with special needs, asks himself or herself, ‘What will happen to him or her when we, the parents, are no longer able to be around and help? Who will help them then?’
As an active member of the community, I have attracted wonderful friends who have joined me in support for Maagalim and they are giving me the strength and much help along the way.
I was blessed in meeting Rachel Weizmann who became my partner. Rachel possesses a huge heart and she walks the journey with me, even though she has not personally experienced what I have been living through. Nonetheless, Rachel is helping my dream to come true.
The need to form the Maagalim Community Circles organization was derived from my own motherly instinct and other parents like me who raise children with special needs, in order to provide our children with a fulfilling social life as well as to enrich them with a supportive environment as part of our hugging-loving community.
The Maagalim organization was founded out of the need to provide a response to the needs of the special education community, which, sadly and unfortunately, is only growing exponentially and cannot be ignored as it has been happening to-date. We want to break through the glass walls that separate those charming children of different qualities and the same society that dictates the social behavior rules.
Emulating others is one of the abilities of a person on the autism spectrum. Therefore, staying in the company of other autistic persons, throughout the day, will not serve as an environment to emulate other behavioral models of children their own age.
Since the path to integrate first and foremost begins in consciousness, we would first like to change the prevailing stigma about autism and autistics.
We are told that autistics are detached children; they live in a world of their own, they scream and are frantic. None of these descriptions are applicable to my Yarin and his friends. Nor there is pity, a trait we are trying to eradicate. When it comes to me being a mother of an autistic child, there is no greater oddness when one mentions empathy. On the contrary, I have a huge sense of pride. I gained a wonderful child and due to him I met people who inspire me and others. I strive to teach the public not to have pity for the autistic child or his or her parents. Rather, to teach them to open their mind and heart to the fact that autistics have much to contribute to our society.
The entire Maagalim organization is based on volunteers’ activities who help Rachel and me to organize various events and productions for children and young adults with various disabilities.
It is the support of the community that will enable us to continue to expand Maagalim’s circle of friends, so we can receive new families who turn to us for help, as well as hold more gatherings, for both children and youths, that will be an enrichment for their parents.
Maagalim Benefit Event
On Thursday, May 31, 2018, in Tarzana, Los Angeles County, California, USA, Maagalim will be holding a Benefit Event and is inviting the public to join them for a unique celebration, full of warmth, love, music and dancing. All proceeds from the event will benefit children with autism and other special needs.
Your helping hand will be a blessing to many in need.