Spek-Truhm :: How My Son’s Autism Journey Led Me To Aerial Arts

In 2012, I gave birth to my second child Ever, 15 months after my firstborn. I had an expectation that he would have very similar milestones to his brother, and when he did not hit any of them, it was concerning. I started to spiral. My first move was to seek out the help of a neurologist who had formed a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at 18 months. Finding out that your child has autism is a challenging and emotional experience for any parent, and then add to it, you have no road map to navigate the experience unless you’ve had experience with it before. I was lost, lost until Families Helping Families entered the narrative.

Thankfully our pediatrician mentioned that Families Helping Families was a great resource for us to reach out to. They helped us find early speech therapy, occupational therapy, and a program that would help our son move along into the school system with the support he needed. It felt like finally someone turned on a light, and my family had a path to follow. Because ASD umbrellas many different behaviors, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by all of the information. Families Helping Families offers one on one help and programs to get you exactly what you need. There is advocacy support, one on one communication, and  information related to special education laws and services.   

In 2014, both boys were toddlers and Ever‘s therapy demanded a lot of time and attention. I knew I needed some kind of outlet or hobby of my own to keep me grounded. I found a local yoga studio that offered both aerial yoga and silks classes, and I started my journey in the aerial arts. In 2019, I joined a local circus troupe, The Acadian Circus, and started performing regularly around the Baton Rouge area. 

In 2021, one of the co-owners of The Acadian Circus offered me the chance at making this show idea come to life and Spek-Truhm was born. With humble beginnings, Spek-Truhm has grown each year. By its second year, it caught the attention of my close friend and aerialist, Anneke Neubig. Mrs. Neubig is in her 8th year as a special education teacher. She has been with the Catholic Diocese REACH program for three years. Our visions clicked, and we are determined to make this year’s fundraiser even bigger than the last.  

Our vision is for the community to come together to eat, be entertained, and support an amazing cause. Our goal is to help people to have a greater understanding of autism and to be excepting of others differences. There will be food trucks, sponsor booths, live raffle prizes, and a circus show! This year our theme is called The Quiet and the Chaos. We hope to highlight the spectrum of our inner monologue: including the highs and the lows.

Learn more about this year’s event on April 22nd at Oxbow Distillery HERE!

About the Author

Kersten Anderson is a wife and mother of two boys working full time as a district manager and part time as an instructor at Refuge Aerial.  She also performs part time with the local circus troupe The Acadian Circus. Kersten has a graphic design degree from LSU and grew up in New Orleans.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here