Hi, I am Erica Ploof. I live in Sterling. I joined the Family Advisory Board as a representative of the North Central area in 2002. I was elected Treasurer and served for a number of years in that capacity. Recently I switched focus and have become the AFAM (Advocates for Autism of Massachusetts) Liaison for the Center.
I live with my husband Steve and our two children, Conner and his younger brother Jackson. Conner was diagnosed with autism in December of 2000. Conner currently attends a specialized day school. While we may wish that he didn’t need such intensive supports, we are grateful that he is receiving them. It was a bumpy ride to get where we are today.
Our family found the Center early in our ‘autism career’. Through the Center we have connected with many other families. We have made use of its educational resources. We have enjoyed family activities (such as movies, swimming and Camp Havvago). And I have made dear friends that have supported me through tough times and been there when what has been needed most is laughter.
Autism Resource Central is one of many member organizations of AFAM. Advocates for Autism of Massachusetts was formed in 2004 to address the need for public advocacy on behalf of individuals, families and professionals who have or deal with people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) which also encompasses Asperger’s Syndrome and high-functioning Autism. The organization provides an important arena for mobilizing those of us who deal with ASD in our day-to-day lives as the most eloquent and persuasive spokespeople for our concerns. Our efforts focus not only on the State House but also on towns and city halls that also have responsibility for service delivery and funding.
I look forward to meeting you at a Center event. If you’d like more information about AFAM or how you can help advocate for your family and others, please feel free to contact me.
Family Advisory Board member since 2002