I’d like to introduce you to my daughter, Kiara. Kiara is a loving, caring, content teenager who strongly values goodness. Kiara also lives with high functioning autism and has strong sensory needs.
You will often see her walking along Hazeldean Road, as walking is very soothing for her. She’s also a climber and will often perch up high in trees. She loves bicycling.
Kiara has a naturally high temperature and overheats quickly, so finds jackets and footwear uncomfortably warm once the thermostat hits zero. She generally prefers to go barefoot over wearing one of her four pairs of flip-flops.
I want to thank those of you who took the time to care and call 911 when you saw Kiara balancing on the bridge. Kiara didn’t realize how people might perceive this, but after the police and I explained it to her, you can be sure she won’t do it again.
I understand people also noticed her walking barefoot yesterday and felt concerned. Kiara is outfitted with a gazillion pairs of top-of-the line footwear that she can tolerate if forced, but ultimately we’ve learned that she self-regulates much better if she is allowed to go barefoot in safe temperatures.
I’m thankful our neighbours are looking out for Kiara. And yes, it takes a village and I am so thankful for this.
Shannon Whitney, Stittsville
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