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Austen’s Autistic Adventures is Meeting a Growing Need in Texas

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Jamie Wheeler-Matlock of Richardson, Texas wanted the simple things in life to benefit her daughter Austen, just like they do for every other child. In Austen’s case, Autism is an issue, and making new friends and developing positive memories for her could sometimes be trying. Working to address this while also solving the growing problem of assisting higher-functioning autistic adults like her own daughter, Jamie started a non-profit organization called Austen’s Autistic Adventures.

Austen’s Autistic Adventures is Meeting a Growing Need in Texas

Photo: Facebook/Austen’s Autistic Adventures

Like many moms, Jamie needed to find things for her daughter to do this summer, but for a 20-year-old with autism, that presented some challenges. In an interview with KHOU, Austen said, “Of course, I’m different than most kids without autism. In fact, being autistic is a whole lot of fun.” In meeting those differences and bridging the gaps, Jamie saw a need. “I think it’s a need that has to be fulfilled for our community because every single day, thousands of kids are aging out, and there’s just not enough for them to do,” she said to KHOU. “They’re not all Rain Man, they’re not all Temple Grandin.”

Austen’s Autistic Adventures is Meeting a Growing Need in Texas

Photo: Facebook/Austen’s Autistic Adventures

So, in January, the former English professor created Austen’s Autistic Adventures to nurture social skills and provide community outreach for teenagers and adults with autism. “I loved teaching, but I love this more. They are capable. They’re very creative, and I want to see that population reach their potential because they’re worth knowing,” she said. Meeting two to three hours per day and going on daily outings such as to museums or to the movies, Wheeler-Matlock has found a niche service that has taken flight. They also host volunteer speakers that are willing to come and talk to participants about their own careers. Operating solely on paid-event fees and donations, Jamie said, “I would really love to get a van to make it easier for pickup and drop-off.” If you’re interested in learning more about this great group, its activities, plans for the future, or how to donate, please visit their website link provided here. You can also volunteer your own time to this worthwhile cause, and can do so by emailing Jamie directly or by calling (214) 405-7563.

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