Katie’s Story of Community

“Being part of an Ausome program and learning about their goal of creating a barrier-free environment for children with autism has reignited my motivation to make a difference in my community.” 

That’s how Katie Groves describes the profound impact that working with Ausome and our athletes has had on her. And it has inspired her to organize a bottle drive this summer to raise funds for Ausome to get more children with autism in our community playing and building their abilities.

The second-year Algonquin College student provided hands-on support to athletes in our spring Fine Motor Program, which Ausome has proudly run in partnership with the college’s Occupational and Physical Therapy Department for many years.

For Katie and her fellow students, this was an opportunity to put their studies into real-world practice after two years of virtual studies. “We can read textbooks back to front, theoretically learn everything from basic anatomy to treatment plans, but nothing can compare to applying it firsthand in the community. Thanks to the efforts of the Ausome staff, I got to see my lecture notes come to life.”

What stood out for Katie was how Ausome prioritizes creating a fun and comfortable environment for our athletes to play and learn, rather than focussing on a clinical approach. “That took away a lot of stress. It allowed me to very quickly create close relationships with the children, which in turn allowed for a natural progression of fine motor skills to develop.”

A perfect example of this is the relationship Katie formed with one particular Ausome athlete in the program who needed support and encouragement to try new activities. “At one point, I layed down on a scooter on my stomach with the goal of having him mirror what I was doing so we could work on building his core strength. We started with him laying on my back and we motored around together until he felt comfortable. When the time was right, we gradually moved him onto his own scooter. Within one hour, we had him independently trying something new and he was really enjoying it. It seems like something small but it was a big moment. It showed how much a child can improve in such a short amount of time with the right support and environment.”

“I had such a positive experience with Ausome. I was beginning to lose sight of the end goal and was having a hard time visualizing my future in this field. But the Ausome staff were extremely encouraging, which instilled a newfound confidence in me that I will take with me as I continue on in the OTA/PTA field.  My classmates and I are excited for what’s next and we have Ausome to thank for playing a major role in that.”

Now Katie is organizing a summer fundraising bottle drive to give back even more to our community. “Knowing they rely heavily on volunteers and donations, I feel it’s the least I can do. I want to do my part to help Ausome continue running their amazing programs because all kids deserve to play.”

Thank you for showing us the meaning of community, Katie. You are Ausome!

If you want to support Katie’s bottle drive, please contact her at katieegroves@outlook.com.

Want to hold your own fundraiser for Ausome? Fill out this form so we can help spread the word!