2023 will be our most exciting year yet! Our expanded team now known as "The Minions" will include 3 co-captains; Emmett, Connor & Karter who will help us expand our experience with Autism & bring us all together! First if you are wondering if you are Minion, all you need to ask yourself is...do you love a knowledge drop, like sticking together and walking it out? If so then this is the place for you, so come join us and begin your adventure as a Minion.
So let's dive right in with this year's theme, EXPAND! We expanded our team, but what else can we expand to meet the expanding needs & size of the Autism community?
First let's expand our understanding of Autism. You can by sign up for weekly knowledge drops in social with my recommended follows with @neurodivergent_lou or @storiesaboutautism on IG. Or if you are un-social perhaps picking up the NYT best seller "NeuroTribes” by Steve Silberman, or read books written by those with Autism like “Funny You Don't Look Autistic” by Michael McCreary.
Expand your cultural understanding of life with autism by enjoying entertainment that depicts life with Autism like shows on Amazon like “As We See It” or Disney’s short film called “Loop”.
Expand your participation in the Autism community by joining groups or outings during April World Autism Month, wear blue 4/2 or join activities at your local school like Building Bridges. Or walk with us this Fall (date TBD) in White Plains by signing up here. You will get a custom Minions Tshirt on the walk day provided by Emmett!
You can also help others expand their perspective on what living with Autism is like by learning just three basic facts about Autism and share those insights with others. Here are a few fast facts I recommend sharing with those who want to learn more.
1.Individuals with ASD often want to socially interact but the lack of the ability to spontaneously develop effective social interaction skills.
2.Autists do not want to be mourned, as "ableist" culture becomes more of an important topic within the growing autistic adult community. The Autism Self Advocacy network, their motto being "Nothing about us, without us.", was created to ensure Autists are defining the needs of Autism.
3.Autism spectrum disorder costs a family $60,000 a year on average. The cost of lifelong care can be reduced by 2/3 with early diagnosis and intervention. According to a recent study funded by Autism Speaks, the lifetime costs of autism average $1.4 million to $2.4 million.
4.Autism spectrum disorder is not degenerative nor is it a disease to be cured.
5.About 50,000 individuals with autism spectrum disorder will exit high school each year in the United States. Many services required by law end abruptly after high school. There is no federal requirement for providing supportive services in adulthood. This leaves many families navigating these types of services on their own.
Lastly, expand your contribution to "The Minions" and Autism Speaks. Donate now to help continue to support the primary organization lobbying to maintain funding, supports and awareness nationally.
Minions, let's make this year the most expansive year in the history of the Minions who have already raised over $30k in the last 5 years for Autism Speaks! From Emmett, Karter & Connor's perspectives, with the Minions behind them, and an expanding world of love and acceptance, there is no limit to their future.
As always, our thanks. Looking forward to walking with you all.
Jessica Donoghue, Emmett's Mom, Amazon Rep, TV watcher, & head Cheerleader
Tracey Sewell, Karter's Mom, Driver, Party planner, Chef & head Cheerleader
Anie O'Gorman, Connor's Mom, Translator, Lifeguard & head Cheerleader
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