When Kelly Dazzi heard the word ‘autism’ seven years ago, she didn’t understand what that meant for her newly diagnosed son.
“I remember meeting with our doctor, and not knowing how autism would forever impact our lives,” said Kelly, whose son Dyllan was diagnosed with autism. “At the time, I was struggling to accept the diagnosis.” And nearly a year later, Kelly’s daughter, Jazlynn, was also diagnosed with autism.
That feeling that overwhelmed her changed when Kelly was introduced to KDC’s Family Support Program on Cape Cod. The Family Support Program assists individuals and families with comprehensive and individualized services such as information and referrals, service navigation, family trainings, parent networking, community connection and resources, and administration of flexible funding for families. The program offers a variety of social and recreational activities for families to participate in, with others in the community.
“Going to these social events through KDC have become a life changer for our family,” said Kelly. “I was so isolated before because I felt like I always had to explain my child’s diagnosis, and I shouldn’t have to feel that way. It is so nice to go to these events and not feel judged.”
The events offered by KDC’s Family Support Program are a way for individuals and families who loved one has been diagnosed with a developmental disability to get involved in the community and meet other families with similar diagnoses. For Kelly’s family, it was a great way to connect with other families and form lasting relationships.
“Because of these events, I reconnected with one of my neighbors who happens to run a parent support group through KDC,” said Kelly. “Forming these relationships has been so important to me. I know I can go to events through KDC and not feel like I need to explain myself, I can be a part of the community now, I am no longer isolated.”
Kelly started a blog about her family’s autism journey that can be found at www.capecodautismmom.com. She hopes that others can relate and connect to the struggles and joys of autism and special needs, and that families know that they are not alone in their journey.