‘A Language Beyond Words’ – One Volunteer’s Experience of Autism
Working with autistic people who cannot talk or communicate in the same way we expect in everyday life, may be challenging for the most experienced of volunteers.
Serve the City are proud to be working with Fondation Autisme, finding people who can offer their spare time to help the autistic experience the very best that life in Luxembourg has to offer.
On Saturday 20th September, one of our volunteers, Kim, accompanied a group of autistic people to help them enjoy the magical ‘Nuit des Lampions’ in Wiltz.
Kim wanted to share her experience, to encourage others to step forward and enjoy this rewarding opportunity for themselves:
“Working with the Fondation Autisme in Luxembourg was definitely the most inspiring and life-changing experience I have ever had. It requires courage and dedication, patience and creativity but the smallest service is rewarded a thousand times with the smiles and happiness of the participants. I was very welcomed by the social workers from the foyer who only told us to keep it clear and simple. It was the first time I met autistic people and it was daunting at first: you’re not sure what to do or say, you don’t understand what they want or think because most of them don’t speak. But there’s a language beyond words and when we all left to visit la Nuit des Lampions in Wiltz, a light and music festival, it was not us and them anymore, it was we altogether, volunteers, social workers and residents of the foyer : Renée, Jacquot, Serge, David and the others. We were holding hands together through the night, supporting, encouraging each other to walk amidst the crowd and laughing a lot too. The lights and lanterns were beautiful in the dark and their eyes, as ours, were glittering. It wasn’t much really to guide them through the festival, to show them the lanterns or to listen when they were sharing their reactions. But the social workers thanked us a lot and by our presence we carried a little bit of their daily work. I can only admire them for their life of devotion and sign up for the next event with the Fondation Autisme, as it will be as enchanting and enriching as this time, for sure.”
If you would like to find out more about the volunteering opportunities available with FAL please email firstname.lastname@example.org