On a typical day out on the open fields of 3 Bluebirds Farm a visitor would usually see three things. A lot of sunshine, plenty of laughing kids, and far too much excitement to manage.
But in the past few months of lockdowns and long days indoors, the fields have seen nothing but empty rays of sunlight. Doors remain shut and the outdoors seem eerily quiet. But it’s behind those newly painted farm doors and packed boxes where change being tackled head-on.
3 Bluebirds Farm has always had a mission: to provide an open space in a sustainable, agricultural community for all families impacted by autism across the spectrum. And these bluebirds are no stranger to facing the unknown.
Autism effects 1 in 54 children in the United States today, and can refer to a broad range of conditions that present differently from individual to individual. Some of the most common characterizations of autism are the disorder’s impact on the nervous system, influencing one’s social skills, communication and effect behavior.
“If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.”
– DR. STEPHEN SHORE
For many families impacted by autism, one of the biggest obstacles they face is finding districts with classrooms capable of accommodating to their child’s learning disabilities, sensory needs, etc. and more often than not find many schools lacking the proper resources to do so.
With over 130 countries closing schools due to COVID-19, the challenge of creating an environment for autistic students have become greater than ever. Already limited by many schools only capable of providing learning spaces until autistic children age-out, the impact of COVID-19 has drastically changed the household dynamic for families balancing working and learning from home.
But nothing is too big of a challenge for 3 Bluebirds Farm. As the farm remained closed during the peak of the nationwide lockdown, founder Erin O’Loughlin and staff created, packaged, and delivered sensory bags to students at home. Turning to the internet, communicating with parents became ever more important as the bluebird staff provided families in the Triangle with resources on academic, physical, and creative ways to manage sensory sensitivities at home.
In mid-June, 3 Bluebirds Farm began gradually re-opening day camps and welcoming families to bring their kids to an alternative virtual-learning classrooms on their new 28-acre land in hopes of providing families and physical space for their children to explore.
Persevering through uncertainty is not a familiar feeling for 3 Bluebirds Farm, and one thing is for sure. The work of this community, staff, and families has continued to allow these bluebirds to take flight.
For more information on how you can impact and donate to the farm, visit our website for more information.