HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - The Copper Country Autism Awareness group in Houghton held an open swim for families with autistic children.
This is the first of three swimming events held by the non-profit group.
The next are scheduled for February 26th, and March 19th.
Children with autism may act differently, but they are just kids, and no single description fits everyone, that's why it's called a spectrum.
The extra attention they need though, could make their families feel like they are the only ones facing those challenges.
That's why four Houghton area grandparents formed the group.
"We're all in the same boat, if they have a meltdown, there's not going to be an issue, no one cares... our mission is to promote awareness and support to children and families on the spectrum," Copper Country Autism Awareness Chairman Sue Antila said.
That support includes more than simply seeing that they are not alone, parents can meet up with other families who have older children.
Those other families can then pass on tips of what has worked in the past, and on top of networking for parents, the kids can be around their peers.
Around people that just might understand what they are going through.
"I do think the kids learn from their peers and can watch and definitely these kids can look around the room and see what are those kids doing and maybe I should be doing that they learn best from their peers," Andrea Lesperance, board member for the Autism Awareness group said.
The group says Autism Spectrum Disorder is the umbrella description for people who have been diagnosed as having a hard time socializing, have difficulty communicating, or any number of things that make it hard for them to interact with the public.
Apart from professional diagnosis and learning the secrets to mitigating an episode, the group wants to be available for families.
"Today's event is all about having fun, water therapy is great for anyone," Antila said.
The link for the Copper Country Autism Awareness group's website is below. Check it out for more details.
Which according to one of the kids, sounds like a lot of fun.
"I go snowshoeing, skiing, I mean skating, swim... and that's it!" student John Langdon said.