Tyler Moar is our special client at the Nemaska Social Services. Since February, we have started development and growth programs for him as an autistic special needs client. During the summer, community homecare worker Marlene Jolly planned a special trip for Tyler to fly to Montreal so he could visit Parc Safari and see other places.

I highly recognize the community members of how they look at Tyler and what they did for him to offer their support. I was really impressed by Tyler’s supporters during the period of the fundraiser and I was happy to see others helping out because they were happy knowing that Tyler was going on a field trip and they were excited for him knowing that he was going to see animals.

Tyler is well known in the community where everyone is aware of his love and interest of animals. The Moar and Blackned families helped out with the fundraising by providing food and drinks during the workshops, called “Spirit of Youth”. These were organized by Simeon Wapachee and held at the Recreation Hall. The payment was made to Tyler’s fundraiser.

Community and family members helped out with the cleaning at the arena gym where the local General Assembly was held. Most of the members who participated in the fundraising were Tyler’s family members too. We also received financial sponsorship from people outside of the community, such as Gordon Hudson who works at the Reception Centre as a Director in Mistissini. On the plane to Montreal, he gave Tyler $50. Tyler did not want to give the money to his mom and kept it with him most of the time while we were participating in the activities.

Before we went to Parc Safari, just south of Montreal, Tyler’s mother informed me that Tyler always wanted to see a giraffe. When we went to the Parc, Tyler was anxious to get into the zoo so he told the driver to hurry up. Before we entered the area where the animals are located, we bought two boxes of food so Tyler could feed the animals.

When we saw the giraffe, Tyler was so excited he wanted to get out of the car but his mom told him that he had to stay in the car. But Tyler was able to feed the giraffe and he was so happy to do so. We saw so many different kinds of animals. Some would put their heads inside the car and Tyler would get a little nervous and would back away from the animal because they were getting to close to him.

Tyler was happy visiting the Parc Safari and he was very talkative during the tour. When we went to the other side of the Parc, Tyler got on the small car and I kept telling him to get off. While I repeated myself, he drove the car and we had the run after him to stop him. His mother, the driver and I ran after him because Tyler did not know how to stop the car. We also went to see the tigers, lions, bears, wolves and monkeys in the other section.

Later we went to the Biodome. The place is very beautiful and fascinating. There are many different kinds of birds and the place looked like a jungle. There are also different kinds of fish and there is a section where they have penguins. Tyler really enjoyed the penguins and kept saying the word, “penguin”. He recognized other animals and would name them and get very excited. You could also hear the noises and sounds of the the animals as we walked around.

Then it was off to the Insectarium. This place was very attractive. Here they have all sorts of insects and there was one spot where Tyler was interested in staying longer because he kept looking at the bees while they were flying around the small tunnel. Tyler was fascinated by them. They also had all sorts of butterflies with so many different colours. I was amazed how many different kinds of butterflies there are and the colours they have in their skin. And while Tyler looked at all butterflies and insects, he mostly concentrated on the bees.

We took Tyler to a downtown arcade. He got see the place but we did not have him play the games; we just wanted to see what he would do. We stayed there for a couple of minutes so he could explore the place.

Then it was off to Battlenet 24, an Internet café where Tyler used the computer and played games with his mother sitting beside him. We were there for a while. Battlenet is a place where they have computers and games available for youth and adults to use for interactions and exploring.

I enjoyed being part of Tyler’s field trip and I enjoyed all the activities I participated with him and his mother. I was touched to see Tyler happy and excited, and most importantly for him exploring. I was very happy when Tyler called my name asking for me when he thought that he had lost me just as we were about to leave the plane. He called my name a few times when he lost me and he would get upset; it was so endearing.

Cynthia Blackned is a CLSC community worker for Nemaska Social Services.