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#WorldAutismAwarenessDay ... the life of a young adult — suzanne-mcrae.com

#WorldAutismAwarenessDay … in the life of a young adult

There are many, many things I could talk about when it comes to living with someone who has autism. As a family we have over 25 years experience. We have a son who was diagnosed with autism / ASD in 1993 at age 3.

So welcome to our world with autism. Take a comfy seat, get something to sip on because you might be here a while (well at least I hope you will be *grin*) and enjoy!!

Today, what I’d like to share is something much lighter and fun, and that is for you to see what one young adult who has autism can do. What you will see are mostly the things that our son gets to do when he’s out in the community with his support workers. Towards the end of my blog post you will find several links to previous blog posts I have written about autism and our son. There’s one very special thing that I share towards the end… and that is our son on the cover of Wholistic Family Health Magazine. This month’s Special Issue for Autism Month. It includes an article that I wrote. Please share my blog post with others who might enjoy reading it. So many families are affected with autism. It’s not an easy journey for families and individuals with autism… and I hope that my little contribution in showing what one aspect of a young adult’s life might be like will give someone else inspiration and hope for their adult or younger child.

It’s been a few years since I have written a blog post on World Autism Awareness Day. So you can go and read that blog post from 2014, here.

Early after he finished school we had applied for Passport Funding through March of Dimes and Developmental Services Ontario. We were very fortunate to be approved that same year. That is very often not the case. Usually, it’s often long wait lists. This funding money that we receive is to hire the support workers that he needs to support him in the community.

Since early on in his life we always wanted him to experience as many things as possible. As an example we taught him how to skate when he was only 3 years old. When he was younger some things took a long time for him to be able to learn. It was by repeating and doing things over and over that he’d master them. Today he learns very much by being shown, and there’s not much that he can’t do. He learns and retains so much more easily today.

Below I’d like to share some photos showing some of the things he’s been able to do over the last 7 years since he’s been out of school. Most of these photos were taken by his support workers. I thank them for sharing them with us.

He loves going out in nature. Long walks or jogs in nature helps ground and calm his nervous system. Skating as shown here on the left, he can easily do for a few hours. Often his support workers will tire before he does. 🙂


The photo below was a warm early spring afternoon where he got to go downhill skiing with both his support workers. One of them was new to the team and they were all getting to know each other while having lots of fun on the slopes.

He’s been rock climbing a handful of times. He’s well-coordinated and strong enough to get himself up there. This looks like a good workout!!

Be sure to watch the two videos below of our son downhill skiing just this past month on a spring afternoon. Very grateful for his support worker that could ski and video tape him at the same time. 🙂

And here is a short video of him doing indoor rock climbing recently.

The young woman at the farm has supported our son, it was 6.5 years yesterday when she started her very first day of working with him. Initially she worked out of our home teaching him more academic things and quickly they went on to her dairy farm where he’s learned so much over the years. Going to the farm, is like bringing him out in nature… it very calming for him. The days he goes there he’s always so happy.

You will see him blocking his ears in several photos. Those were some of the earlier years at the farm. His sound sensitivities were so much more heightened then than they are today. This has improved quite a bit over time for him which has been so awesome.

There’s always chores to do at the farm… and he gets such a huge variety of jobs that he can help with and where he gets to learn skills. It’s so awesome that he does this on a weekly basis, this allows a familiar routine with more new skills that can be added to what he already knows how to do.

Brushing the calves and feeding some with a bottle. One day he was shown how to shear a cow. He’s been there a few times when cows were giving birth to their calf.

It’s been so awesome to have him be able to go to the farm. The relationship that he has with his support worker that lives and works on her family’s dairy farm, has been a really positive influence in his life. He has really been able to trust her with all that he does at the farm. This has really helped him overcome some huge fears that he had around animals in the past. It took time for him to be around the animals and get comfortable, but she persisted and was able to get him more and more comfortable and involved and soon everything was becoming so much easier and pleasant for him.

The grin he has on the tractor ride says it all. Then he’s feeding the rabbits below again part of his routine there.

Do I really have to put my hand under this hen to get the eggs?

I got them!!

He loves feeding the chickens and collecting the eggs when he’s at the farm.

Bringing the goat where it needs to be. And learning how to milk a cow by hand like in the olden days.

When our son was younger he’d cry at the sound of a cow in the distance. We’d go for walks down the road from our place, and it took us a long time to figure out why he would put his hands over his ears, make loud noises and not wanting to keep walking with us. He was attempting to make more noise in order to drown out any possibilities that if a cow moo’d in the farmer’s field in the distance that he wouldn’t be able to hear it so loud. This has changed drastically for him, thanks to these opportunities at the farm. It has helped with many of his other sound sensitivities that are not animal related.

Taking in the hay… and building muscles and endurance while doing the work.

Through another program that he was in, one summer day a few years ago he got to experience a bi-plane ride. The program had received extra funding to give the kids and young adults in the program an opportunity to do something special. Our son got to go with his Dad for a bi-plane ride. The grin here says it all: he’s very happy and ready!!

The view from the bi-plane… and visiting a dinosaur place.

Below are a few other experiences he’s had over the years…

Our son also enjoys playing tennis, ping-pong, also swimming and skating. He’s curled a few times in bonspiels with his dad and he’s good at this too. He enjoys kayaking on the lake in the summer when we go to his aunt and uncle’s cottage. Water has always been very calming for him. This summer he will try rollerblading again. He was much younger last time he did this, but there’s no doubt he should catch on quickly since he’s really good at ice skating.


Over the years with the young woman from the farm taught him how to make friendship bracelets as part of a reward system. He quickly caught on and began making several bracelets and his collection grew. He loves colours, so this was very inspiring for him to be creative this way.

Then one evening when leaving the community pool when he had gone swimming with his dad, he pointed to our community centre and told him that he wanted to go to a craft show there to sell his bracelets. He showed me a photo of a cash box online, that he wanted to buy. He knew exactly what store he wanted to go and buy it at. He then chose how he wanted his bracelet displays were going to look like and he made them out of cardboard. He became a young entrepreneur with a little support. This was all his idea. His communication abilities are limited, but that didn’t stop him from finding his way to tell us exactly what he wanted. We knew that we had to help him make this dream come true.

The bracelets that he makes, he’s the one that chooses the colour combinations that he wants to make. When he’s had special requests for specific bracelet colours, he’s never really happy about making those because they aren’t his idea. He always wants it to make it into his own creation.

If you live in our area and if you attend craft shows, you will surely find our son there with his support work … like you see below. 🙂

He absolutely loves going to craft shows to sell his bracelets.

Screen Shot 2016-03-12 at 7.27.46 PM

Be sure to go and LIKE his Facebook Page. We don’t post there often, but when there are craft shows that he’s going to be attending we try to post it.

His sister took this photo below of some of his collection of bracelets placed beautifully a tree branch for his Facebook Page. These are some samples of bracelets that he’s made over the years. And below you will find the best description that shows who he is, and the work he does when he creates these friendship bracelets. He truly pours his heart and soul into creating them.

One-of-a-kind friendship bracelets made with enthusiasm and care by autistic colour-lover, Kyle McRae.


In this month, April 2016 – the online Wholistic Family Health Magazine has published one of my articles in this special issue that has all to do with autism. On the cover of the magazine is a photo of our son Kyle that was taken by his sister a few years ago.

I invite you to buy this Special Issue for April’s Autism Awareness month. It’s really not expensive and is filled with some really good helpful information. This issue is all about autism and the many ways that a person who has autism can be helped towards a cure.

Click here to download the magazine App for your iPhone or iPad from iTunes for free. Once you have downloaded the App you will see all the issues that are available and you can buy it there.

We have personally been using Heilkunst as a healing modality for both our son and myself for several years now. It’s been one of the best decisions I have ever made. It’s not always been an easy journey, but the rewards have far outweighed anything else I had ever tried over the years.

You can read one of my articles in this Special Issue of the Wholistic Family Health Magazine.

Wholistic Family Health Magazine


If you are curious to know more about Heilkunst and how Allyson McQuinn cured her son of his pretty severe autism, be sure to get a copy of her book in Kindle version here The Path To Cure. It’s available this weekend for FREE on Amazon. Even if it’s not free by the time you read this blog post, be sure to get your copy.


I invite you to come over and check out some of blog posts from the past on different topics. They are highlighted below, just click on each one to bring you there. Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

The autism diagnosis

20 years after the autism diagnosis: Autism Files

Heilkunst and how autism has brought us on this journey

Happy Thanksgiving – We’re Here!!

Birthday blessings for my son!

Autism and the ultrasound experience

#WorldAutismAwarenessDay … #drumming … #dreaming

Advocating… and the results!

Autism and Power Outages: Autism Files

The upside down Kleenex boxes

A visit to the dentist… a reflection on the past 17 years

Riding at the stable

Christmas at the McRae’s

You may need more than today to go through all of my blog posts on autism. I hope that you may find inspiration from them. 🙂


Please share this blog post. Share it with friends, family, teachers, really with anyone who has an interest, or curiosity to learn more about autism and the endless possibilities that really can become a reality.

I’d so love to hear from you. Share your thoughts, or even your own autism stories with us. Leave us your feedback or questions below. Perhaps there might be something in particular that maybe you’d like to hear more of about from our journey through autism, do let me know. This is certainly something that I’d like to write more about one day (it’s probably been 20 years in the thinking stage), but I honestly don’t even know where I’d begin writing about it. So if this is something that is of interest to you… then I would love to hear from you. This will certainly inspire me to get started perhaps on the book that people keep telling me that I need to write. 🙂

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  1. Dawn Conery says:

    I loved this blog post Suzanne. Very uplifting and encouraging for sure. I will be sharing it! I would love to read your biography, telling the whole story of your path. I bet that would be very inspirational to many. I think of you often <3

    • Glad you enjoyed the blog post Dawn. Writing it helped me see just how much our son has grown over the years from many different experiences. I’ll let you know if I ever do write a book. 😉

  2. Annette Bourdeau says:

    It has been my privilege to know Kyle and his family for the last 3 years. He has changed from the cool and handsome teenager enamored with the mirror to a still very handsome and more grounded young man. I have a number of Kyle’s friendship bracelets and they are lovely and beautifully made. Happy to see that he is doing well with Chris. Sounds like a good team around him now.

    As usual, your writing is an inspiration to everyone. Keep informing people, it’s a valuable service.

    • Annette, thank you for your observations about our son. It is nice to see him more grounded as a young man. He’s changed a lot since his teen years. Ah yes, his love of mirrors. 🙂 I appreciate your feedback. Thank you!! xo

  3. What a wonderful and informative post Suzanne – it’s such a joy to see how Kyle has grown and become more comfortable in his journey. And that smile – oh what pure delight to see!
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  4. What a delight to read this inspiring blog post, Suzanne! I am so happy to see the changes that have come to all in your family. Kyle has the most infectious smile! 🙂

  5. This is a beautiful story, Suzanne. I want one of his bracelets! Do you sell to the US?

  6. I love your tender mamaheart….you’re fierce and a fighter and soft and a lover
    and your son is blessed beyond measure to have you in his life. He will be stronger
    than you can imagine and shine brighter than you know:)
    Big peace to you and to this bright star that you love,

  7. Blessings and thanks to each of you. xoxo

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