Audrey is an amazing 10 year old girl from Wantagh, NY. In 2012, we learned that Audrey was on the Autism spectrum. We knew Audrey would require additional support and services and that she would struggle with some of the things many of us take for granted. Her speech was delayed, she struggled socially, and she had a difficult time maintaining focus. These are the biggest challenges Audrey faced and still faces to this day.
But most of you know Audrey's journey. You know that over the last 7 years, Audrey went from being practically non-verbal to being one of the most outgoing, chatty, and infectious human beings you will ever have the privilege of meeting. This transformation would not be possible had it not been for the amazing support we've received from the moment we learned Audrey was on the spectrum. From her first SEIT teacher Erica, to the faculty and staff at Hagedorn Little Village School, our family and friends, and of course the wonderful team of educators and staff at Forest Lake School in Wantagh, this incredible group of humans has helped transform my little girl into the wonderful person she is today.
That little girl is getting bigger every day. She loves shopping at Target. She loves wearing bows, painting her nails, and choosing her outfits (sometimes months in advance of a special occasion). She loves Dunkin'! While not a coffee drinker yet, she never passes up a chocolate frosted donut with sprinkles. She loves to learn about people; where they live, what kind of car they drive, and if they have a dog. If you give Audrey enough time, she'll know your life story within about 15 minutes.
These are the kinds of things you embrace when your child has Autism. What some may see as a disabiity, I see as a unique ability. It can be a challenge, too, but not the kind of challenge you fear; rather, Audrey offers the kind of challenge that you embrace. Because behind some of her quirks and interesting conversation starters is a girl who is passionate about living a great life. She works hard in school. Her reading and math skills are so far ahead of where they were just a few years ago. She wants to try new things, eat new foods, and visit new places. She fears nothing. She loves everything.
In the 6 years raising money for Autism Speaks, I am proud to say that 'Team Audrey' has raised nearly $30,000. It's a staggering number, especially when you consider that I just wanted to raise a few hundred dollars and walk with my daughter back in 2014. This has grown into something hard to put into words.
So if you are so inclined to donate in 2020, please know your contribution is going to a great cause and a wonderful organization which has helped spread awareness and continue to fund important Autism research. Thank you so much for your continued support for this cause and for Audrey year in and year out.
I earned my Walk Tee Shirt!
Striving to become Grand Club member
I raised $1,000 and became a Grand Club Member!
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