I work for the Canucks Autism Network as a Support Worker, but I started by volunteering in their swimming programs. I wanted to learn how to work with kids who have invisible disabilities, and volunteering was a good way to test the waters to see if this was the right environment for me.
It was challenging at first – I worked with one child who had a hearing impairment and a speech impediment, along with low-functioning autism. For the first four weeks of the program, he’d run and hide as soon as he saw me! But over time he slowly became more comfortable, and even taught me some of his sign language so that we could communicate better. Watching these children open up to me was the most inspiring part of my experience with CAN. They’re so genuine, even though they’re going through so much.