Why I Walk for Autism Speaks: Ella
Our daughter, Ella, has autism. When she received the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder at age three, we were understandably fearful of what this meant for her future. At the time, Ella was practically nonverbal, far from potty trained and struggled with heightened sensory to loud noises, smells, clothing textures, etc. Questions quickly filled our heads like will she ever talk? Will she ever get dressed without throwing a tantrum? Will she ever get out of diapers?
Today Ella is 6 years old and thriving. Looking back, we wish we knew then what we know now - Ella's diagnosis was nothing to be afraid of, but in fact, a gift. Individuals on the spectrum are extraordinary, and as her parents, we are the lucky ones who get to have a front row seat in facilitating her extraordinary journey.
Since Ella’s diagnosis, we have had the privilege of watching her develop into an exceptionally unique, joyous, hilarious, insightful, and kind person who cares deeply for all creatures and people. Ella is one of the hardest working people we know, as she balances the daily demands of behavior therapy, virtual Kindergarten, and her self-imposed responsibilities as big sister and tiara-wearing princess of the house.
Thanks in part to the services she has received, we now have no doubt that Ella will live an extraordinary life, and we feel deeply fortunate to have a front-row seat from which to observe it.
Ella is a walking testament to the crucial importance of intervening early with behavioral therapies and educational supports. We applaud Autism Speaks for their role in publicizing the importance of early intervention. It is difficult to overstate the imperative to help make resources available for autistic children, autistic adults and their families, as they navigate their atypical paths.
Although this year the Autism Speaks walk will look much different, the cause has never been more important. I’m walking to raise funds for the mission of Autism Speaks - to fuel innovative research and make connections to critical lifelong supports and services for the autism community. Please support me by donating and help me meet my fundraising goal - and you, too, can make an impact for people and families living with autism!
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
|Sunday, November 15, 2020||Virtual Event - we’ll be sharing all the ways that you can walk from where you are!||Stay tuned for more details about how to participate!||Kelly Bertenthal, Senior Manager (916) 890-4638 SanFranciscoWalk@autismspeaks.org|
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