Alair Laree Bergman
Artistic, Author, Breeder, Speaker, Autistic
Alair started her challenges before birth. She has been on a successful path since joining 4 H in 2005. Alair has been a consistent Champion in: Poultry, Sewing, Costuming, Fine Arts and Award winner in Various Community Service project. She began dictating her amazing story of how working with chickens and Poultry helped her with many challenges of Autism at age 12. She presented the story at the 2009 Oakland County Fair winning a trophy. When doing a 4 H interview with Dr. Temple Grandin in 2010, Alair was encouraged to publish her book. Together with her mother Alair finished the book in 2012. Alair created “Gratitude Grove Farm” and together with her family formed a corporation. Alair’s Aunt Vickie Armstrong was instrumental in helping get the book published and to the market in the attempt to save the farm. The vision of the family is to have a forever farm where interaction with animals, home arts, visual and performing arts would be combined with a therapeutic inclusive structure. Alair has been diagnosed with various challenges, Autism just being one of the many labels. This farm could give a home and workplace for the Bergman family as they continue to reach out to others in a variety of ways. As Alair goes forward to work in digital art, performing arts, and perhaps animation the ties to her animals and the farm is still a great part of her healing. Her story and her message is moving and inspirational to all who receive it. She desires to be the inspiration for the next generation of autism; struggling to throw off limitations and become a working member of society.
Alair is a 4 H Key Club participant, Christian 3-D vision youth participant and currently a High School student in Alternative Non-public education.
Sharon Alair Bergman
Sharon describes herself as “the wind beneath Alair’s wings” and has worked tirelessly for solutions and answers for the struggles of a complex kid in a complex family and a complex world. She struggles as both her children are in the Autism Spectrum and she is on a journey through recovery from Stage III Breast cancer. Trying to hold on to one’s faith and hope is a constant struggle with the challenges ever present. Sharon’s message both connects with others who find themselves in those dark deep places of hurtful suffering, and gives strategies to overcome them repeatedly with perseverance. Her own mother and sister have been great support and the Faith community, with stories of the power of prayer. There are often no easy answers and often learning to endure the painful struggle is the essence of reaching successful moments, teaching the exhausting steps of dancing in the stormy, driving rain with joy and endurance.
Sharon holds a BA degree in Dance and Psychology with a Specialization in Dance Therapy and Fine Arts, a Master’s degree in Clinical and Humanistic-Existential Psychology with a focus on children and families and 12 hours of Seminary credit. She is also a certified provider with The Listening Program through Advanced Brain Technologies. She is an avid consumer of complimentary, alternative and biomedical interventions. She is most of all a follower of the Christian Faith with a personal relationship with her Lord and Savior.
Extended family is often key to the success of special needs individuals. “Aunt Vickie,” has been instrumental in helping Alair and the Bergman family. She serves as a founding member of Gratitude Grove Farm and is responsible for much of the administrative work and support. She helped publish the book, develop the website and facebook and is priceless in her devotion to helping make this project a success. Her deep Christian Faith drives her to help others, knowing that the shared vision of helping and serving others is at the heart of the programs at Gratitude Grove Farm.
Vickie holds a Master’s degree in Special Education Learning Disabilities. She is a certified Special Education teacher in the State of Michigan and is a full time teacher in the Huron Valley School District. She meets regularly with Autism agencies and other groups to promoted better services for those with differences and challenges. She is present at most book signings and helps to spread the story of Alair’s success in the hope of bringing more healing and success to others.