Author: Tammy Mitchel

Autism and Our Greatest Inspiration From 2014

Cheers to 2014!

Participants from Cooking Level III

Participants from a Cooking Level III class at the Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center

While the rest of the world buzzes with excitement today, making plans for the evening, reflecting on the days behind us and raising a glass to what the bright New Year may bring, today I have a different vision of what it is we should be ‘cheers-ing’ to. Naturally, we are all compelled by the freshness a new year brings; new horizons for being better, having a clearer focus, ridding bad habits and welcoming new opportunities. 

Last night, as I sat down to reflect on my year, the celebrations, hardships, people and things, that made it so rich and beautiful, my staff sent me a Ted Talk called, ‘How autism freed me to be myself’, featuring Read full post »

Happy

ForrestA Day in the Life at the Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center

Today marks the first day of fall quarter classes at the Burnett Center and that ‘back-to-school’ buzz has been circulating throughout the center all morning.

As I walk down the hall, I greet new and returning participants – adults with autism and other developmental disabilities – here to learn something new and be amongst peers. Beloved instructors are returning and new ones are here too, eager to bring their expertise and fresh ideas to each classroom.

At the beginning of each music class, the instructor often asks each participant how they’re feeling that day.

Today, a common theme is happy. Read full post »

The Journey and the Now

A little life lesson…

So often, some of the greatest lessons we learn in life come in times and places when we are least expecting them. Last week offered one of those moments…

As our monthly movie night at the Burnett Center came to an end, as we turned off ‘The Incredibles’ and vacuumed up popcorn debris, a new friend, who will be participating at the center, asked if he could talk to me about some things he had on his mind.

Curious, I welcomed the conversation as this bright, charming and contemplative young man talked about planning for the future and how the unknown can be overwhelming for people with autism. For him, this was in regards to his life and wondering about girlfriends, marriage, even heaven… and for me, in Read full post »

Making a Dent in Adult Services…

“Make a dent in the Universe” – Steve Jobs

We are at a watershed moment in the world of adults living with developmental disabilities. The virtual tsunami of young- adults who will be aging out of high school and into adulthood is a reality for thousands in the state. Families are navigating the unknown of this next chapter in their adults’ lives and sadly, resources and services are far and few between.

While some may see this as an obstacle, we see opportunity.

Through the new Seattle Children’s Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center, we have before us not only the tremendous opportunity to make a splash in the world of adults with developmental disabilities, but with the collaboration of many other wonderful organizations we are in the position to make a dent. Read full post »