01/05/2022 by Susanna O’Brien
Parent Reflection with Susanna O'Brien
Susanna O’Brien has spent over 34 years as a Nationally Board Certified Secondary Biology Educator. She is the mother of two young adults with autism. Over the years, she has become a special needs advocate, a social skills group leader and writer. Susanna has written many articles about parenting children with special needs and even is the author of an upcoming book about raising two sons with autism. Susanna has been a speaker at special needs conferences and workshops throughout the Hudson Valley and is an active member in our community. She has been using Greystone Programs’ for its’ Respite services for her son Matty, who has also just moved into Greystone's newest home Grants Path.
Susanna and her son Daniel participated in Greystone’s Leap for Autism this past October. She shared her experience with us and we couldn't help but share!
Daniel is not afraid of anything, except being late for work, or any activity for that matter. Jumping out of an airplane fits into that category. Two years prior, Daniel had skydived for the Greystone Fundraiser, ”Leap for Autism” and after seeing him gliding effortlessly with the breeze, and the big smile on his face, I knew the next time we came to Skydive the Ranch in Gardiner, New York, I would be suiting up as well for a tandem jump, more like a magic fall from the sky. All the dreams I’ve had of flying as far back as I can remember gave me an extra boost of courage to sign up.
The skies were picture perfect on Saturday, October 2, as if karmically sent our way. After all, the jump was to raise money for our special needs loved ones, and our Matty had just moved into Grant’s Path, his forever home, with Greystone Programs. To make things even sweeter, all Matty’s new friends from Grant’s Path would be coming to see the jump, as well as other Greystone houses.
The funds raised provide vital programming for our loved ones, thank you to all. I never thought I’d see the day when I jumped out of a plane, but hey, we all would do anything for our children we hold so dear. I bet there is someone in your family, who would like to fly with the wind, a smile on their face that captures the spirit of that magic moment.