You just never know what gifts lie beyond doing something that seems really scary. An opportunity presented itself, that seemed like a lot of fun. To do it, I had to be brave. I had to travel with Brandon without the support of my husband. Lots of anxiety goes along with autism. People stare, People judge. I did it & learned of lots of supports available in airports, along the way. Brandon did great! I did great! It was at our destiny to go, meet new friends, learn about alpacas and learn about felting… if I’d never faced my fear of traveling with him, we wouldn’t have had the opportunities… Ohana Swirls, would not exist.

You know how sometimes there is something you really want to do..yet are scared about doing it?

Well, I’m here to tell you, to just do it!

It’s so liberating and… there will be gifts on the other side that you would never have known about otherwise! People to meet and inspiration too! 

It’s so scary and so hard to do. I’ve done it twice or more and if I hadn’t my life would be very different.

Who woulda thought growin’ up in Iowa, I’d land on an island in the middle of the Pacific- managing the fine jewelry department at the Navy Exchange in Pearl Harbor- raise a family in Europe, UK and back to the continental United States! No one’s more surprised than I!  The peeps I’ve met along the way & experiences, I keep close to my heart!

I’m a mom to 2, autism advocate, reiki level 2 practitioner & wife to retired Air Force dude. I also enjoy fitness kickboxing, yoga, gardening, photography & the sensory aspects of being a felted fiber artist.

The other time I was flying with my autistic son without the support of my husband. We did it and learned of new accommodations. Another key piece to the creation of Ohana Swirls.

You just never know where life will take you!

My husband, Keith  & I laugh ALL the time that while dating, I told him I’d live anywhere but the East Coast… and here we are in the Greater Philadelphia area, on the opposite side of the river, New Jersey.  

Yep! One hour from the beach! We moved 5 times in 10 years and I met him at the END of his 26-year military career! Need moving tips? I’m your gal! LOL  Not to mention the crazy life of maintaining consistency for a little boy who went all haywire if things weren’t just so, it’s been an adventure!

I got to thinkin’ one day. We’re not gonna be around forever and how can I use the abilities I’ve been given and help my son.

Before long, Ohana Swirls was founded to give my oldest son, Brandon a venue to show others how we are teaching him a sense of accomplishment, increase self-esteem, self-confidence, job skills & so much more! Ohana Swirls has helped him maintain attention to a task, problem solve and overcome challenges, to name a few!  

He persevered over a year before he accomplished tying his own shoes. So many times, I wanted to give up!  His occupational therapist shook her head at me.

FINALLY, he succeeded!!! We all won and we didn’t give up!

It was that scenario that brought on mixed emotions. By the time, he was in the transition program, he’d be 18- It would be too late. He will age out of school at 21. I looked around my house to see what we had.. we had his paintings, and I’d recently learned how to felt scarves. it took a little bit of time before you know it, we were putting all of our energies and focus into an entity that quite possibly could help Brandon in ways we never imagined. …and now,  inspire YOU in ways you hadn’t thought of either!

Ohana Swirls, life. art.autism is the heart and soul of hope! Hope for the future! Hope for all!

Can’t wait to meet you! Thank you for stopping by!

Aloha,
Julie

You just never know what gifts lie beyond doing something that seems really scary. An opportunity presented itself, that seemed like a lot of fun. To do it, I had to be brave. I had to travel with Brandon without the support of my husband. Lots of anxiety goes along with autism. People stare, People judge. I did it & learned of lots of supports available in airports, along the way. Brandon did great! I did great! It was at our destiny to go, meet new friends, learn about alpacas and learn about felting… if I’d never faced my fear of traveling with him, we wouldn’t have had the opportunities… Ohana Swirls, would not exist.

You know how sometimes there is something you really want to do..yet are scared about doing it?

Well, I’m here to tell you, to just do it!

It’s so liberating and… there will be gifts on the other side that you would never have known about otherwise! People to meet and inspiration too! 

It’s so scary and so hard to do. I’ve done it twice or more and if I hadn’t my life would be very different.

Who woulda thought growin’ up in Iowa, I’d land on an island in the middle of the Pacific- managing the fine jewelry department at the Navy Exchange in Pearl Harbor- raise a family in Europe, UK and back to the continental United States! No one’s more surprised than I!  The peeps I’ve met along the way & experiences, I keep close to my heart!

I’m a mom to 2, autism advocate, reiki level 2 practitioner & wife to retired Air Force dude. I also enjoy fitness kickboxing, yoga, gardening, photography & the sensory aspects of being a felted fiber artist.

The other time I was flying with my autistic son without the support of my husband. We did it and learned of new accommodations. Another key piece to the creation of Ohana Swirls.

You just never know where life will take you!

My husband, Keith  & I laugh ALL the time that while dating, I told him I’d live anywhere but the East Coast… and here we are in the Greater Philadelphia area, on the opposite side of the river, New Jersey.  

Yep! One hour from the beach! We moved 5 times in 10 years and I met him at the END of his 26-year military career! Need moving tips? I’m your gal! LOL  Not to mention the crazy life of maintaining consistency for a little boy who went all haywire if things weren’t just so, it’s been an adventure!

I got to thinkin’ one day. We’re not gonna be around forever and how can I use the abilities I’ve been given and help my son.

Before long, Ohana Swirls was founded to give my oldest son, Brandon a venue to show others how we are teaching him a sense of accomplishment, increase self-esteem, self-confidence, job skills & so much more! Ohana Swirls has helped him maintain attention to a task, problem solve and overcome challenges, to name a few!  

He persevered over a year before he accomplished tying his own shoes. So many times, I wanted to give up!  His occupational therapist shook her head at me.

FINALLY, he succeeded!!! We all won and we didn’t give up!

It was that scenario that brought on mixed emotions. By the time, he was in the transition program, he’d be 18- It would be too late. He will age out of school at 21. I looked around my house to see what we had.. we had his paintings, and I’d recently learned how to felt scarves. it took a little bit of time before you know it, we were putting all of our energies and focus into an entity that quite possibly could help Brandon in ways we never imagined. …and now,  inspire YOU in ways you hadn’t thought of either!

Ohana Swirls, life. art.autism is the heart and soul of hope! Hope for the future! Hope for all!

Can’t wait to meet you! Thank you for stopping by!

Aloha,
Julie

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Julie, I am in awe of all that you do with Brandon and am inspired by your family's commitment to making sure people in our world understand the value of how the differently wired kids/adults are to our society. I am thankful that you have put Brandon in the limelight and shown us the fantastic things he is capable of, but also show the struggles both he and your beautiful family go through. You, your family and the autism community you are involved with are truly amazing!

Paula R.

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