Join me in my efforts to support Autism Speaks!
Thank you for supporting Autism Speaks. Your contribution is greatly appreciated.
This is the 18th Anniversary of the Ride for Autism Speaks, which I, along with my husband, Leo Tavolacci, and nieces, Jennifer Stary and Laura Quinley, founded from my kitchen table 18 years ago in honor of my son, Joshua, who was diagnosed with severe autism spectrum disorder at the age of 2.
It has been a very long and hard road these past 24 years. When Joshua was 15 years old, I had to make the hardest decision of my life and move him to a developmental center for autism in Sprinfield, Illinois. For the next 6 years, I visited him every other weekend in Springfield.
He now resides at the Shapiro Developmental Center in Kankakee, Illinois, which is a Illinois state operated facility. He is doing very well there with the exception of all the COVID-19 restrictions. They are professionals and take good care of him.
I still drive down to Kankakee every other weekend and bring him for a home visit. He has been wonderful, sweet and started smiling again.
Thank you to each and every one of you who have supported me, Joshua and his brother Jordan over the last 18 years with my involvement in Autism Speaks and our various fundraisers. A special thank you to all the volunteers, riders, friends and family who have been directly involved with the Ride. It has been truly overwhelming.
Diane, Leo, Jordan and Joshua