Join me in my efforts to support Autism Speaks!
Ollie and I have always had a very special relationship.
Growing up with a twin sister, who was and still is my very best friend, we always assumed our children would grow up being very close. We imagined them playing together, going to school together, and experiencing all of life’s adventures together. I imagined I would be my nephew’s favorite aunt and he would run to me with hugs and smiles every time he saw me.
Ollie is a child with autism. Ollie didn’t want my hugs. He didn’t run to me smiling like my other nephews. He didn’t want to look at me at all. However, with all the love and support that he gets from my sister and brother in law, and with a variety of services he receives from our school, Ollie has grown SOOO MUCH! He loves playing with Cris and Elena. He smiles at me and says, “Hi, Fifi!”. He makes eye contact and lets me hug him! My favorite moment with Ollie is when I visited him in his class during my lunch. He was so excited, and HE came to ME for a hug! It took 4 years for him to reach that special moment, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t promptly go back to my classroom to cry a little bit after that.
Ollie grows more and more every day, largely because of the support that he receives from those that interact with him daily. Organizations like Autism Speaks help to promote awareness and provide much needed resources and support to children with autism and their families.
Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 1 in 54 children is on the autism spectrum.
Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions. They empower people with autism and their families with resources, online tools and information covering the life span.
Thank you for helping me reach my goal. Your support is greatly appreciated!
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