Kate's autism is not the first thing you'll notice about her. You'll notice her striking blue eyes, her penchant for superheroes and her love of being with people. Kate is busy with very little down time so when she decided recently that she wanted to make videos to teach people about important topics, I was quick to help her out. (After all, it beats wrestling with her. She is surprisingly strong for a forty pound five year old.) She made a video about sharing, not hitting and unfortunately a short video of what she remembers of her birth. You can find this video on our Facebook page if you need a laugh.
Most recently Kate decided to make a video about Fire Fighters (I told you she was into super heroes). This video made its rounds on social media and came to the attention of Michael Boyle, Platoon Chief at the Kennebecasis Valley Fire Department. He quickly reached out and ask if Kate would like to come for a Fire Station visit! Does Spiderman spins webs? Do the Ninja Turtles love pizza? YES, of course we would love to come visit the station.
You see, Kate was a firefighter for Halloween and her autism service dog, Oakley, was her "Fire Chief". Her sister was an "evil twin' with her bestie but prefers to stay off camera for the most part. (Trust me, she was equally adorable). As we set out to make our rounds we were lucky enough to see a KV Fire Department truck drive by, and guess what? They spotted Miss Kate and pulled over so she could jump in for a quick visit. She then talked about that visit the whole way around the neighbourhood. Her Sunday visit to the station couldn't come soon enough. Check out these photos of Halloween night before we get to the good stuff below.
After the excitement of Halloween we were hopeful that Kate might sleep in a little later than her usually 6:00am. We were in luck, she slept in until 6:08am. Anyway, she was too excited to sleep because today was the day she was going to the Fire Station. Off we went for a private tour. The firefighters all came out to greet us and show us around the station. Kate and Grace were V.I.P's (even if Grace was too shy to leave my side).
It was especially fitting that Firefighter Karen was there to take the lead on our tour to further encourage Kate that girls could be firefighters. Firefighter Karen and her colleagues took Kate in and out of every truck and every other piece of equipment at the station. Kate then asked her father and I to stay put while she and Karen did some further exploration. We stayed far enough back that she felt pretty independent. Oakley even kept at a short distance for this one.. Kate had five firefighters at her and beck and call and I am pretty sure they loved every minute of it.
This visit has done more for us than just allow a little girl the thrill of sitting in a fire truck. It has reminded us that our firefighters are community helpers in more ways than one and it has reminded us that girls rule! (Thanks Firefighter Karen).
So, thank you KV Fire Department. From all of us, Thank You!
Happy Mail to:
27 Wellington Row
Saint John, NB
Grace and Kate's mom. (Shanell)