You Had Me At…

…Hello!
Meeting Cindy, Gavin & Rusty
By Just Add Kids Founder, Paula HerrmannGavin Cindy and Rusty

It might sound a little creepy to say that I fell in love with a relationship. Well, I did.

I bumped into the trio of mom, Cindy; son, Gavin; and therapy dog, Rusty Schultz at a special needs resource fair a few months back. I, there representing the resources Just Add Kids has to offer families, including those with special needs* children. And “team Schultz”? They were there at the table next to me, sharing the opportunities available from the support group Autism Solution Pieces, selling merchandise, and seeing and making new friends. Wasn’t too hard!  The adorable, extremely well-behaved Goldendoodle is a magnet.  Read More…

I spent some time learning more about the group that I had been introduced to before via a phone call from co-founder and Vice-President Cathy Wathen months earlier. By meeting the other half Cindy, President of the founding team of A.S.P., as it is commonly referred to as, I know the why and the inspiration for all their efforts.  I can’t even begin to describe the passion Cathy has for providing support to others, sharing her experience, faith and knowledge.  It’s overflowing.

I also got to meet Gavin, who is 15 years old and diagnosed with Autism at the age of 3. At the event, you could find him keeping busy at their table working on some project, or moseying around socializing with Rusty, his faithful companion, at his side. To the best of my knowledge, while I am acutely aware of the ever rising numbers of those diagnosed with Autism, I don’t recollect much personal interaction that I’ve had with someone with Autism. I felt a little awkward at first, directly talking to Gavin. Rusty is definitely a buffer, if not a welcomed diversion. (not in a negative way). Interacting with the dog is a way to come together and communicate.

Today, I can speak of my adoration for this family trio: mom, son and dog. You know it’s there, yet, it’ll take more than I have time to write about at this juncture and I’d like to save that for a later date. But trust me, you won’t have to wait too long! There is so much to that story. Take note of the “talking to” I mentioned in the previous paragraph, we’ll address that in great detail at a later date. And I cannot wait!

Along with the brief introduction to the Schultz’s is an introduction to A.S.P. which is best summed up by its mission statement:
“At Autism Solution Pieces, our goal is to empower parents and individuals affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).  Autism Solution Pieces is a volunteer based organization whose purpose is to raise hope and awareness by providing support and peer group meetings, educational conferences, fundraising events, and community outings for Autistic individuals. We are committed to providing current information on ASD causes, prevention, and treatments so parents and individuals can use these resources to build knowledge best suited for their families.”

To learn more about A.S.P., you may visit their website at http://autismsolutionpieces.com/ and “Like” their Facebook page.

Allow me to also invite you to a fundraiser benefiting the work of Autism Solution Pieces. Kids Carnival & Concert will take place on Friday, August 2nd.Here are some of the details. I’ll be there, and of course the dynamic Schultz trio will be there. We won’t be hard to find if you want to come and say “hi”.I’ll be in a Just Add Kids shirt. Cindy will be running around, happily wearing a smile. Gavin and Rusty….well, if you can’t pick those two out of a crowd.

Please come. We’d like a crowd!
Autism Solution Pieces flier kids carnival and concert 2013
* Just Add Kids posts kid-oriented, family-friendly activities and events to our website’s Happenings Calendar of Events. Presently, we highlight those that accommodate or are intended for special needs by framing the event in **asterisks**
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3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Paula, you bring me to tears. I am so humbled by your words. Cathy and my passion for these special needs families and their children go far beyond the 9 – 5 jobs most people have. We both volunteer countless hours each day in hopes to make a difference in these families lives. Thank you for loving us ~ We love you too!

  2. 2

    […] Several weeks back I introduced you to the trio of Cindy, Rusty, and Gavin Schultz: a mom, a dog, and a teen with autism. (see JAK Chat: “You Had Me At…Hello!”) […]

  3. 3

    […] a son, and a dog. Here’s one of my favorite blog entries from the past year. Do enjoy… “You Had Me At…Hello!” and have a great Mother’s […]


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