Overcoming the obstacles of autism with help from the community

Published: Updated:
Brittany Reimer wears a shirt in observance of World Autism Awareness Day. (Credit: WINK News)
Brittany Reimer wears a shirt in observance of World Autism Awareness Day. (Credit: WINK News)

Tuesday is World Autism Awareness Day. The goal, as defined by the United Nations, is to strengthen the commitment to the full inclusion and participation of people on the autism spectrum in daily life.

Every 11 minutes, a family learns that their child has autism. Locally, My Autism Connection works to help those families and most importantly, the child with autism, to become the best version of him or herself.

For Brittany Reimer, April 2 is the day she dresses head-to-toe in blue all for a cause close to her heart.

“When I was 2 years old and I wasn’t really talking, I learned I had Autism,” said Reimer, a My Autism Connection member.

That is why communication has never come easy for Reimer. She had delays in speaking, she could not make eye contact and she said it was hard for her to engage in conversations with other people.

But that all changed when her family moved to Punta Gorda in 2014. The move gave her the opportunity to join a group and overcome those obstacles. She said she has become more outgoing, social and has many friends.

Since 2011, My Autism Connection has served as a support group for those on the spectrum, to empower them with skills to become more independent. Sandra Worth is the founder.

“Having a son on the spectrum, I felt it was important to figure out what were the next steps,” said Worth, executive director for My Autism Connection.

It is a starting point for many, where members are given a safe place to build new friendships, discover new skills and find a job.

“I’ve never found a group like this, but my Autism Connection great group,” Reimer said. “I’ve really learned a lot. I’m learning about how life really is and how to become an adult and money manage.”

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.