Why We Walk for Autism Speaks
You know I work for Autism Speaks and that Walk is one of my programs -- but that's not why I am captaining the team and fundraising. For sure #mywhy is a little different from most. Here it is: our youngest son, Ethan, was born with a genetic condition called 22Q11.2 deletion syndrome. Many kids with 22Q also have autism and, although Ethan doesn't, I see that many of his needs are supported by the work of Autism Speaks.
One of the things I love that we do is provide toolkits on almost everything you can think of -- like visiting the dentist, preparing for an IEP meeting, financial planning, sleep, nutrition -- the list goes on. While the driver of these is addressing the needs of the autism community, they are equally helpful for any family facing challenges.
The toolkits are practical but there's an even greater benefit in the awareness and acceptance that Autism Speaks drives. My son does not think like everyone else; he doesn't talk like everyone else; he can't always keep up with his peers. So, when Autism Speaks says: Different, not less -- I see Ethan. When we help communities become safer: I breathe a sigh of relief for Ethan. When we work with employers on the advantages of a neurodiverse workforce, I see a brighter future for Ethan. When we partner with businesses to make them “autism friendly” – I see “Ethan-friendly.”
So, why should YOU donate? (Or even join the team??) Maybe you love someone with autism. Maybe you have your own Ethan. Maybe neither – but 1 in every 59 children will be diagnosed with autism this year in the US. That’s the official number – the actual incidence is likely much higher. Think about what that means for your school, your community, your workplace. Addressing the needs and tapping into the potential of this community is the right thing to do.
We live in divided times. Seeing the value in every human heart is something we can surely come together on. Different, not less. Let’s make the world a little more “Ethan-friendly” – every dollar helps spread the word.
Jenn, Steve, Nora, Henry & Ethan
(And always watched over by our guardian angel, Anna Maxine)
Autism Speaks NYC Office
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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