Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Chesapeake Girl Scout Creates Autism Support Group

By Courtney Herrick, GSCCC communications intern

Chesapeake Girl Scout Kaylee has earned the Girl Scout Silver Award, the second highest achievement in Girl Scouting.

Autism has directly impacted Kaylee’s life ever since her younger brother was diagnosed with it, and finding support for siblings of children with autism proved to be a struggle for Kaylee.  For her Silver Award project, Kaylee decided to create a support group for the brothers and sisters of children with autism. She proved her dedication to the group by holding monthly meetings that lasted about two hours. Kaylee organized various activities and games that allowed the group to interact with one another in a fun and safe environment. The group served siblings in grades five through eight and allowed them to meet new friends, share ideas and receive support and encouragement from peers that are going through similar situations.

Kaylee connected with her community to spread the word about her group by having a booth at the YMCA Healthy Kids Day in April, which is Autism Awareness Month. She also passed out fliers to educate the public on resources, other than her group, that were available to provide support for families of children with autism.

Kaylee at Healthy Kids Day
“I believe the most successful part of the project was being a resource and support for siblings of autistic children who were going through similar issues as myself and others,” Kaylee said.

Kaylee has plans to continue her group even though she has already received her Silver Award.

“I enjoyed this project; however, it was more than a project to me,” she said.

The Silver Award requires girls to identify an issue in the community and carry out a Take Action Project to address the matter through leadership work.