Danvers Mom Wears Blue for World Autism Day
Jeanette Gaudet, single mom of a son with autism has struggled with getting the right services for her son, but fights for him and other children with special needs.
Name: Jeanette Gaudet
Street: Perkins Road
Family: Kelsie, 9 and Tyler, 11
Occupation: District Manager for Dots. Jeanette covers five stores in Massachusetts.
What are you passionate about: "I am passionate about special needs children and advocating for them," Jeanette said.
April 2 is the fifth annual World Autism Day and Jeanette is showing her support by wearing blue with her children, and putting a blue light out at their house.
Jeanette is amazed and saddened that the ratio of children with autism is now 1:88. When her son Tyler, who has autism, was born it was 1:150 and years ago it was 1:1000.
“We need to get on the ball and support and educate," she said. "What if in ten years the ratio is 1:30?"
"When people see Tyler in a store they don’t know how to react. People will apologize or stare," she said. "What I am most passionate about is educating the public."
Jeanette wants people to know that children with autism are people with feelings.
“If you see a child with autism, just say hello. It’s important for children with autism to go to all the normal places that we all go to. It may take time for them to get used to the noises, crowds and the hustle and bustle. But going over and over is critical to the children getting used to these places."
Hobbies: Camping, walking and spending time at the beach
Favorite Movie: Pretty Woman
Dream Vacation: “My dream vacation would be Hawaii," she said. "I have been once and would love to go back again.”
Favorite Shop: Target
Favorite place in town: “I love Pope’s Landing, I love to stop and eat my lunch there.”
How Long have you lived in Danvers: “All my life."
Why did you choose Danvers: “I have lived here all my life, I grew up here and love the community, bumping into people I know all over town, the school system, it’s just a nice town.”
What would you like to see changed in town: Jeanette would like to see access to special needs services more easily accessible. Although she loves Danvers School System, like most towns, it’s hard to put services in place for children who need it. Parents must be educated in the process in order to access what they need for their children and Jeanette feels the process leads to many children falling through the cracks.