My attention focused on Asaf’s needs, searching for and taking him to specialized therapies. Teachers were in our home from morning to night, working to make him understand everything that comes so naturally to us! Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) was a foreign language to me. But for Asaf I had to learn the language and teach it to him, as I was told this was the only way to change his behaviour. Special diets, vitamins, healing sessions, homoeopathy, took over our lives, in the hope it would balance his body, bring more strength into his immune system, to develop his senses to feel, see, hear, taste and touch - with joy. I became obsessed with Autism, researching everything and everywhere looking for answers.
Now Asaf, my boy, is 17 years old. Handsome and happy. He is active in basketball, running, yoga and horseback riding. He works out at the gym with his father and works with horses at Horseability. At Spectrum Designs, he is cooking, printing on shirts and feeling part of a community. We take trips to Israel once a year - he loves it.
Asaf’s future is always on my mind. Knowing that he will not fall in love, he will not have a family of his own, he will not be able to live by himself or be completely independent. Now my mission is to create the best environment for him so he will be confident and aware. So he can have a job that he enjoys. Have friends and be close to his brothers and his parents.
Our company Bags for Good shines a light on autism awareness by helping to employ teens and adults on the spectrum with our partner Spectrum Designs. Spectrum will be responsible for the packing and shipping of our bags, providing meaningful employment for people on the Autism Spectrum. By using a beautiful natural bag for shopping we can all contribute to helping the environment be plastic free. Each purchase of a bag not only helps the planet but also brings change to someone in need.
The mission for Bags for Good is to create more jobs and develop a community where teens and adults will live and work. They will receive the best care, nutritious food and many fun activities and social opportunities. Yoga and meditation will be part of the daily routine. This community will be close to home, close to their own community. Living, working and growing together. My dream is to see more adults with Autism being part of life - living a life full of happiness and accomplishments.
I know what it takes to raise typical children in a typical family. As a typical family, we were able to take trips, have friends over for sleepovers and travel in the summer to Israel. Our main concern was to keep our children safe, to make them happy and to enrich their lives. When Asaf, our third son was born he looked like an angel, people would stop me on the street to look at him. His smile brought joy and happiness to everyone. Life was so beautiful. Then, when Asaf was 2 years old we were wondering why he wasn't talking as most children do. After many hours of evaluation and testing, Asaf was diagnosed with autism. He was 3 years old. Life changed forever.