A Parent’s Experience… (Daniel Vachon)

A Parent’s Experience…

Except from the allocution of Mr. Daniel Vachon at the Benefit Gala of the Fondation Autisme Montréal, on Monday, March 29, 2010.

“It is with great pleasure that I have accepted the invitation of the Fondation Autisme Montréal to come and talk to you tonight. My son Benjamin turned 11 years old at the beginning of the month. He is a very nice and kind child and almost always cheerful. At first glance, Benjamin is no different than all the other children, but in fact, to achieve this, he had to work very hard and spend many hours in all sorts of therapies. Because of a malformation of his left cerebellar hemisphere, all the limbs on his right side are stiff and difficult to control.

Even if he was treated early, it is only at four years old that Benjamin finally started to walk relatively normally and was able to use his right hand partially. It is also at that moment that we have found out that his intellectual development was not normal and that he had inadequate behaviors for a child of his age. The fact is that Benjamin also has an autism spectrum disorder. We had spent a lot of time in the last months with the physical rehabilitation of our son, when we were faced with this new reality which allowed us to see that we would need support and that we were very tired. It is around that period that we had our first contacts with community organizations such as ATEDM and that we learned about respite services.

For an evening, a weekend or a week, respite services are essential to parents. They allowed us to get some rest, of course, but also to spend time together as a couple and get away from our everyday life with a small person with great needs. We can say that respite services allowed us to find some time for us.

Benjamin has made a lot of progress in the last few years and will continue to do so. As for me, I am convinced that with the necessary efforts and resources, every child can develop to the best of his possibilities and become a full citizen in our community.”

Daniel Vachon
Parent and Administrator, ATEDM’s Board of Directors

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