Why I Walk for Autism Speaks and Wyatt
April 27th 2019 at the Rose Bowl will mark the 8th Autism Speaks Walk that Wyatt, Lisa and I will be participating in. As most of you know, this is a cause that is very close to our hearts as Wyatt was diagnosed on the spectrum shortly after his second birthday.
After receiving the news of Wyatt’s diagnosis we turned immediately to the Autism Speaks website and spent many hours poring through the volumes of information inside. Lisa and I started with the "First 100 Days Toolkit"-- an amazing resource. We were looking for questions to be answered, resources to be had and most importantly, a sense of community.
Probably the scariest thing we learned was just how alarming the numbers are:
1 in 59 kids are on the Spectrum. More shockingly 1 in 37 boys are on the Spectrum.
Our lives have changed considerably since then. Wyatt is now a very active third grader who enjoys school, where his favorite subjects are spelling and science. For those of you who know Wyatt, he’s a fun-loving little guy who loves to make you laugh and is always there to greet you with a smile. We've made some amazing new friends through this incredible community and of course, Jacques (our service dog) is now fully integrated into our lives. Wyatt remains incredibly busy spending time after school going to speech therapy, occupational therapy, karate, and swimming lessons and before bed every night he does his homework - just like all his other classmates. Wyatt began to play tennis last year through Ace-ing Autism, an organization we found through Autism Speaks and now on the weekends Lisa and I continue to teach him.
Wyatt, who is now 9, is full of energy that fuels his curiosity and with his helper/friend Monica he does a lot of exploring. Whether it’s rock climbing, playing a game, reading a book or simply drawing (cars, trains and ships) the two have a wonderful friendship. Wyatt continues to love to read, has started bowling, driving go-karts and has a true passion for movies – Spider Man: Into the Spiderverse is the current favorite, which he insists on watching while eating a big bowl of popcorn.
Our lives are very full and active and it's truly wonderful being able to support our little man the way we do - we owe a big debt to Autism Speaks for giving us the feeling that we're not alone and there is hope.
In addition to being a resource for families with relatives on the spectrum, Autism Speaks is the largest advocacy group for people with Autism and the families that support them. The team at AS provides key lobbying efforts to make sure those on the spectrum and their families are represented in Washington. Lastly, the organization continues to provide valuable research dollars to those in the scientific community to hopefully find the root cause of this disorder and perhaps, even a cure one day.
Please join Lisa and I in supporting this incredible and amazing cause that is deeply personal to our family. If you want to join us for the walk please reach out and we will give you the details.
Thank you for your time and support.
Andy, Lisa, Wyatt and Jacques
I earned my Walk Tee Shirt!
Striving to become Grand Club member
I raised $1,000 and became a Grand Club Member!
Share Your Encouragement
|4/27/2019||Rose Bowl||8:30am - Registration Opens ~- Resource Fair Opens ~9:30am - Opening Ceremony ~10:00am - 5K Walk Begins, ~Short Route is Available ~11:00am - Finish Line Celebration ~1:00pm - Event Ends||Tamra Mariott 323-297-4737 LAWalk@autismspeaks.org|
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