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PostHeaderIcon All In Need Helps Youngsters With Special Needs

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Every few weeks we feature a person or an organization with an interesting story on 10 Questions With… This week, we sat down with Autumn Green and learned about her organization, All in Need, Family Support. Her is what she told us:

ANNB: Tell us a little about yourself.
AG: I am the founder of All in Need, Family Support. I hold a degree in Business Administration from Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon, where I also worked as an administrative assistant until moving to the East Bay six years ago.  Being a wife and mother is my top priority.  Austin, my oldest son, was recently diagnosed with psoriasis and ADHD, and my youngest son Yaakov has been diagnosed with a speech delay, pediatric bipolar disorder and Asperger, and sensory process.  Austin is involved in hip hop and break dancing, participates in his church Youth Group. He also has participated in the Walk for Psoriasis. Yaakov is a left defender in club soccer.  I am a member of the Community Advisory Committee on Special Education in the Mount Diablo Unified School District, a volunteer for KidCompass, a special needs program at Oak Park Christian Center, and work part time as a classroom aide in the Mt. Diablo school district.   .
 
 
ANNB: How did you come start All in Need?
AG: In 2006, Yaakov was diagnosed with pediatric bipolar and aspergers, and my husband Jacob and I decided it was best for me to stay home with the boys. 
I tried to find the support and treatment Yaakov needed, but I was met with dead-ends at every turn. Frustration and hopelessness set in, but I soon realized I wasn’t the only one who wasn’t getting the support I needed. There were other families in the Bay Area who also needed help. So I set out to help them, starting All in Need, Family Support, or AIN for short, as church ministry at Oak Park Christian Center, serving children 4 years old to 5th grade. But it was quickly obvious that we needed to extend services past the 5th grade.  The program was expanded, became a nonprofit and has to date served children aged two and a half through 7th grade.


ANNB: Where does the name of your organization come from?
AG: All in Need, Family Support’s name came from my own realization that my entire family, me included needed help to deal with  Yaakov’s special needs including supporting him in many areas of his life to help him develop. I incorporated everything I learned in his speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and tutoring in our daily lives. However, it quickly became clear that my oldest son and my husband also needed me. That is where the inspiration for the name “All in Need” came from. The idea is to support entire families of children with special needs. 
 
ANNB:
What is the goal of your organization?
AG: The goal of AiN is to provide support to families with children ages 18 and under that have special needs like ADHD, Autism, Bipolar, Physical, Mitochondrial Disease, speech and language, in the East Bay by offering respite care in a nurturing and learning environment, promoting social interaction, providing gross and fine motor activities, all in a sensory-based atmosphere. We try to help anyone with special needs under 18. We have two programs that allow us to support our mission: Respite and Social Groups. The goal for respite group,  such as the one to the left, is to give parents a three hour break, while caring for their special needs child in an environment that promotes education and skill development. When developing the program I tried create a place where I would be comfortable bringing my own son with the knowledge that he was being challenged and encouraged, not just placed in front of the TV or computer. Our social groups, are designed for children 8 to 16. These events are an hour and a half long, giving parents a short break. We have various activities scheduled for outings--meals out, movies, miniature golfing, and other age-appropriate activities that typically-developing children would be doing.  

ANNB: How many people do you serve each year?
AG: It is an unfortunate fact that since AiN became a nonprofit organization in 2011, we have not been able to serve as many families as we did when we were a church ministry. As a ministry we were able to offer the respite for free, but now that we have to raise our own funds independently, we have to charge a fee for most events to cover our costs of operation and pay for the events. We have three events a month—outings, respite and game night. Our goal is to serve 20 children per month at respite, and ten for each monthly social event and we continue to grow. Remember: We offer outings the first Saturday of the month, respite the third Saturday of the month, and game night the third Thursday of the month. Registration information for all events can be found at www.allinneed.org.

ANNB: How do people find out about your organization?
AG: For more information, visit AiN’s webpage at www.allinneed.org. To be part of the mailing list, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and let them know that you want to be on the family events mailing list. You can also request to be added to the newsletter email list. All in Need is on Facebook and Twitter (@allinneedfamily). You can also contact me directly at 925-257-4AIN.
 
ANNB: What do you need to make your organization stronger?
AG: We need volunteers and donations (both product and financial) to make the organization stronger. Without expansion in both of these areas, AiN will not be able to grow to support more families that have children with special needs. We also need locations for our social groups, and help from businesses who will partner with us to give children with special needs the opportunity to do the same activities that typically-developing children participate in. Any individuals or businesses interested in donating or partnering with us can contact me directly at 925-257-4AIN.
 
ANNB: Who are some of your partners?
- Goals for Autism
http://www.goalsforautism.com/
GOALS for Autism, Inc. is devoted to increasing the quality of life for families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders and other special needs. As a company we understand the daily stress and worry placed on a family with a special needs child. We are dedicated to providing quality comprehensive educational, behavioral, community and social skills. Our goal is to assist the entire family and to create an environment where everyone thrives to meet their potential.

- Kristen Cumings
http://www.kristencumings.com/
Known for her works of art made completely from Jelly Belly jelly beans, Martinez artist Kristen Cumings enjoys sharing the arts with children. Kristen has worked in the special needs field for many years, and is excited to partner with AiN and incorporate both talents to serve the special needs community.
 
- Brittany Erin Creative Media
http://brittanyerinphotography.com/
Brittany Erin Creative Media is a web design, photography, and videography company in the Bay Area. Brittany enjoys using her skills to help local companies and non-profits grow their business and get noticed. Check out her website if you are in need of any design or photo work!
 
Current facilities we use:
Oak Park Christian Center: www.opccag.org
St. Andrew’s  http://www.standrews-pcusa.org/

 
 ANNB: What do parents say is the best part of being involved with AiN?

 “AiN provided my daughter with the opportunity to interact with other children while engaging in full of fun activities. The staff members are very carrying and thoughtful people who ensure that the kids are having fun in a safe environment. At the same time, it allowed my husband & I to spend time together without worries by knowing that our daughter is getting the social interaction that she needs in a safe and caring setting. “
-Olga

“Thanks for everything you do for all the kids, and us parents!”
-Ray
 
 
An activity called spiderweb (above) is done at social groups.

ANNB: Tell us what you are working on now for the future.
 
AG:  In the future, we plan to offer more respite and social groups per month as well as eventually offering a leadership program. Leadership would allow children with special needs to support AiN events and programs in areas such as fund raising and publicity. The children who participate in the leadership program would be encouraged to become even more invested in the group and its success by helping organize and plan the events and activities.
In 2013 we will host an event called A Special Day in the Park, where families with special needs children will have access to local participating vendors who offer services for them. There will be occupational therapists, doctors, speech and language specialists, extracurricular activities, support groups and more. --KB

All photos were taken by Brittany Erin Photoraphy  http://brittanyerinphotography.com/blog/living-social-coupon/ 

Last Updated (Wednesday, 03 October 2012 00:25)

 

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