Carpenters Union Local 599 Receives Award

Carpenters’ Union Local 599 President John Winarski, from left, accepts an award from Devin Downs and his father, Glen, on behalf of MarysKids, a parent support group for families of children with autism or Asperger’s syndrome.

Glen Downs, union member, recently presented an award to the Carpenters Union Local 599 on behalf of MaryKids for donating significant funding. MarysKids is a parent support group for families who have children with autism or Asperger’s syndrome. The Union has helped in funding to send families to a special weekend camp for children with autism held at Stoney Run County Park in Leroy.

“For the second year in a row, the generosity of the local Carpenters Union has made it possible for any family with a child with autism, as well as extended family members and friends, to participate in a three-day, two-night outdoor primitive camping adventure right here in Lake County,” said Mary Michael, of Highland, who founded MarysKids.

Parents are usually hesitant to take traditional camping trips because sensory overloads, new environments or changes in routine can affect children with autism. But at Stoney Run, camping is limited to non-profit groups and families are required to two group sites making MarysKids the only campers for the entire weekend. Fiends and family members participate to provide more of an inclusive atmosphere for the children.

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Pattern of Children with Autism Being Left Unattended

There are mounting concerns for parents with children with autism over slipping standards of supervision, which could end in tragedy. As children with autism often lack a natural sense of danger it is vital they are not left to wander outside of supervised zones.

On Monday 6th February a Long Island mother, Crystal Feldt, was horrified to discover that her 6-year-old son Sean who has autism had been left on the school bus once all other students had gotten off. The bus driver and an aide are both responsible for checking that all children are off the bus but neither noticed the sleeping Sean. The bus driver was subsequently fired.

This is reminiscent of a previous incident where a 4-year-old Indianapolis boy with autism was left unattended for over two hours on a school bus. He had fallen asleep and was not discovered, as the driver allegedly didn’t check the rows before exiting the bus. Continue reading