CARES Facilitator Spotlight: Jordan Fruitman

Developmental, psychological, and sociological challenges associated with autism are not only difficult for affected children, but also for their caregivers. Through the process of mirroring emotions and building trust, I have helped parents realize SAAAC CARES is a safe space to share personal experiences related to caregiving. My goal is to help every parent have their personal stories feel heard, understood, and respected; gaining realization that they are not alone in their struggles.

By facilitating SAAAC CARES, I have learned the value of shared experience is really powerful. I have seen parents create meaningful friendships with other parents, broadening their sense of purpose outside of caregiving, and rewriting their stories and experiences to emphasize positives in every situation. Nothing makes me more happy when parents of various ethnic backgrounds connect with each other and build a sense of community, especially during challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To me, the word “CARES” means being compassionate towards yourself. Humans beings can have a tendency to be overcritical, especially towards ourselves; it is important to offer ourselves the same level of kindness you would provide for loved ones. Through practicing self-compassion, we can enjoy life from a fresh perspective by appreciating what we current possess, and seeing mistakes as opportunities to empower ourselves.