724.473.0990 143 S. Main Street, Zelienople PA 16063

Love Notes

In Memory of Brian Steinmetz
Back in October 2013, Rachel and I visited Toto for the first time during a Young Adult gathering and felt right at home. In no time, we became a part of this awesome Toto family. During our first visit at Toto, one particular family comes to mind ; a very tall man, a young lady full of innocent energy and a handsome young man who loves to knit. Over time, we became better friends which bloomed from dinner’s with Mary’s family (after hanging at Toto)….. to Brian and Rachel attending Brian’s prom together. Brian ended up being a part of our lives outside of Toto…. if Brian and Rachel weren’t together, they were on the phone laughing and singing (while on speaker phone of course, driving us parents crazy). Although the miles built up between us over time, we still hold onto that season of memories. Brian…you were a dear and loyal friend…you were an awesome young man and your presence will always be felt in our hearts and at Toto.

Love,
Ms. Dani and Rach

We’re not all autism parents… We’re tots, tweens, teens, single adults, and grandparents. Some of us face our first IEP meetings, and others could write the book. We’re teachers, therapists, high school & college students, boy and girl scouts, and siblings. We’re young adults facing graduation and not-so-young adults seeking employment. We’re autistic people, people living with autism, adhd, ocd, odd, spd, ld, and all possible combinations.

What we have in common is that we feel most at home in a place that supports, accepts, and celebrates everyone, especially those who don’t feel that way in many other places. We think life is better when we face it totally supported, in total community, and altogether encouraged.

Lydia Wayman

I am writing to you to expess my sincere gratitude for all you do on a daily basis at Parents in Toto. The Zelienople Area is blessed to have such a place for children and families to go to experience love, support, friendship, etc. that you have to share. Your enthusiasm to help is contagious! My daughters love to come to see you and their new friends at Parents in Toto! Keep up the great work and know that what you are doing is greatly appreciated…

– Life is like a bank account–you only get out of it what you put into it!

Cara Florie

It has helped me alot with making a couple friends and I am going to make more. I like girls club because it is more interesting to me because I get to do lots of stuff I like to do. We get to do nails and hair which I never get to do and crafts like rainbow looms and all kinds of things that include girls. When I came to Toto for the first time I got to talk about myself and it was awesome. In young adult group I get to talk to Arial and we have soooooo much of the same likes.

Rachel

Dear Mary,
It was so wonderful meeting you on Saturday. Your center is great and I can see how much good you are doing there in the community. My client really enjoyed himself. Thanks again and I look forward to seeing you! If I can ever do anything for you, let me know.

Susan Crossley
Beaver Vocational Psychology Services

I just wanted to email you to say thanks for your webpage. My name is Regina, and I volunteer at a community center that hosts activities for local children and their families. We have an upcoming learning event on autism spectrum disorders. Your webpage has some excellent information for us to use. Thanks for all the help! 🙂

Best,
Regina Alvarez

Todd had a great time Friday [Fathers’ Nite] and Jon just LOVED the music class. He came home and said “I LOVE PARENTS IN TOTO!! I AM SO GLAD WE LIVE HERE” with a huge smile and it caried him all day enough. He knew a lot of the kids there from his school. And, how funny that his very first BSC was there. It is so wonderful to see this happening.

Renee Nichols
CARES and Parents in Toto Member

I just wanted to thank you, and express my appreciation for your time, and concern for me and my family. Parents in Toto is the first organization that we have truly felt welcome, and so comfortable. It’s evident that there is a lot of love and warmth flowing through the organization, due to a loving and caring leader. Mary, I believe that because of your kindness, concern, understanding, and motivation, Parents in Toto flourishes. Again, thanks so much (FOR BEING YOU)!
Love and God Bless,

Leona

Just wanted to thank you for getting me in touch with the Miracle League of Southwestern Pa. If I hadn’t met you, I don’t think this opportunity would ever had come about for my son, David. We are so excited about him being able to participate with the Miracle League. It’s not only going to be fun for him, but also therapeutic too. David needs socialization and I think this is a great opportunity for him.
Thanks a Bunch!

Jen Minton

Hi Mary,

I’ve meant to drop you a note so many times this summer. My daughter is on a full PhD ride at [a university]. She applied at [two other universities] and actually forgot she had applied… until they sent her the acceptance letter (my absent minded professor) 🙂 She thought someone was “pranking” her when she got the acceptance email… You know I am very proud of her and not just me in my infant stages dealing with her Asperger’s. Don’t know if we would have gotten here without your support. It hasn’t been easy as you know very well but it has been fruitful and worth it all. Thanks so much again, Mary for your dedication and love for our children.

Blessings to you,
Barb

I stumbled across Toto last summer (2013) while researching local resources as an employee of Lifesteps. After speaking to Mary, I discovered how Toto might be a good fit for my daughter who is on the spectrum. Rachel desperately needed and wanted to be involved in positive social expeiences. Rachel struggled with being accepted and how to interact with peers. Since she was young she has been challenged socially. While visiting Toto She feels fully accepted and not only has she has been able to be herself but she has met great friends since the day she attended the young adult group. It has truly become a second family for us.

Danielle

Thank you so much again for your help, support and guidance this summer. Toto is absolutely amazing and truly a special place that I believe impacts families and even children who are not autistic. I have gained so much and am excited to see Toto grow into an even more amazing place! Today went very well! [A young man] and I painted some pictures and made the plastic plate mosaic, which came out very nice as well! [Another visitor] stopped in too to paint! Thanks so much again for everything, Mary!
Talk to you soon,

Mary Rekuc
Michigan State University Student Intern Summer 2013

Hey Mary,
Nice to hear from you. Trust me when I say that it was my pleasure getting to stop into your place and meet you. you have an incredible enthusiasm for what you do and your desire to help others in contagious. Keep up the great work!

Keep Smile’n,
Dennis Curcio

It’s great to see the broad spectrum of topics and the speakers you have at the center. I know a child who has benefitted from vision therapy, but before I knew of her circumstances this was not an issue I was even aware existed. I was surprised that this was not something they could identify through regular eye exams. I am finding that there are many screenings available (sometimes within the schools), but that no one is going to hand you a menu, so it is great that you have a place with so many resources, so as parents and caregivers we can become more informed advocates for our kids. Thanks for making this possible.

Anne Christy
Parent and Toto Visitor

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