Henry received an official diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in 2005, shortly before he turned 4 years old. Our lives were changed forever. In 2008, we started the "HANK ROCKS" fundraising team for Autism Speaks. Since then, thanks in large part to the efforts of Autism Speaks, children are now routinely diagnosed with ASD by the age of 18 months. Research has shown that early intervention makes a big difference in the development of an individual on the autism spectrum, so that's huge. Therapies and interventions that weren't even contemplated in 2005 are now the norm -- thanks to Autism Speaks. Thanks to Autism Speaks, autism families can now access an Autism Response Team that will help them with getting a diagnosis, special education issues, and learning more about inclusion programs and adult services. We've seen a $3-BILLION increase in authorized federal research funding for autism, $550 Million for scientific grants, and over $9 Million in community based autism-related grants and scholarships. All because of Autism Speaks. It is a cause that we believe in.
The Mathias family is 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 us by donating -- and help us to meet our fundraising goal. And if you'd like, go to the HANK ROCKS page and join our team! Help us make an impact for people living with autism!