Kindness is a buzz word these days, and maybe it's been a little co-opted by corporate entities ... but still, I kind of can't get enough of it. I tell my team all the time: presume competence and presume best intentions. You know what that equates to? Basically, being kind. It works at work and it works in life.
Here's something that hurts my heart: children with physical, developmental, intellectual and emotional disabilities are at increased risk of being bullied. 60% of autistic children and adults report having been bullied. We cannot let this stand. Great societies protect and care for their most vulnerable -- and Autism Speaks is leading the way to that better world. Increasing acceptance and inclusion through persuasive campaigns and story telling, creating "Autism Friendly" communities, advocating for insurance coverage, funding research, supporting autistic people and their families across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan: I love it all. It makes me proud to work here.
Everything good the Schell Podolls do is in honor of the good soul we lost: our daughter, Anna. She was born with a congenital heart defect and a developmental disability, Noonan's syndrome. Ethan, as most of you know, was also born with a congenital heart defect and a completely different developmental disability, 22Q11.2 deletion syndrome. My favorite part of the Autism Speaks mission statement may be "...and related conditions." Because everything Autism Speaks does would have helped Anna and does help Ethan.
Autism-friendly is Ethan-friendly. Autism-friendly is anti-bullying. Autism-friendly is kind.
So, I'm walking and fundraising for Autism Speaks so we can get to that kinder world faster. Ethan needs it -- and might not be so bad for the rest of us, either. Please consider a donation -- every donation, in any amount, is truly appreciated!
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