Our Commitment to Giving Back

Hello! We are Laurent and Allison Chapdelaine. We are the proud parents of two amazing children; Wyatt (almost 10) and Gabrielle (age 7). Our son Wyatt is on the Autism Spectrum. Our journey has presented us with a unique set of characteristics and challenges for our entire family. Some days are difficult, some are stressful but all are fun filled and spent laughing and creating special memories together.

All children progress differently. Many start to crawl and walk by 1 year old. Some start speaking before 2. Some form sentences much later than others. You are told, “Every kid is different. You can’t compare your kid to other kids.” When you are navigating all the newness of parenthood, you are learning as you go! Before our son’s Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis, we started noticing small differences between our son and other kids his age. At times, it was hard to distinguish whether his behavior was typical (a “normal” kid reaction) or whether this behavior was out of the norm. Individuals on the Autism Spectrum have problems (in varying degrees) with social interaction, communication, empathy, and flexible behavior. Wyatt exhibited all of these indicators.

Wyatt’s diagnosis came shortly before his 4th birthday and 2 months before our daughter was born. Wyatt’s diagnosis did not change who he is. It simply gave us the ability to understand what he was going through and how we could best help him. It was overwhelming at first. Where do you start? What kind of interventions will best suit your child? We have been very lucky to have the support from family and friends as well as programs that are offered in Winnipeg for children on the Autism Spectrum. Speech and Language pathologists, Fine Motor Skills Development, Group activities focused on communication and social interaction with peers, and Respite for parents and siblings (to name a few).

We have been very grateful for the community supports we have received and that is why it is important for us to give back. Autism Awareness is something that is close to our hearts. Raising awareness is crucial in developing an understanding of this disorder and raising funds is important for those families in need. The Autism Awareness Ride has been created to do both of these things and we appreciate all the support in making this ride a successful event.