Hello and welcome to Emmett's Minions! On this team we stick together, walk it out and love a good knowledge drop. If this sounds like the place for you, come join us and begin your adventure as a Minion. Donate, walk, share, be kind...there are many ways to be a Minion. And right now, while we are coming back together, the world still seems a bit difficult lately. It can seem really hard sometimes especially if we only focus on the struggles, so this year, us Minions are picking a theme to rally around for our 2022 walk, PP, meaning positive perspective.
For example, even the definition of being a Minion has a choice of perspective. The Miriam dictionary defines being a Minion as either a "servile dependent, follower or underling" or "as one highly favored, an IDOL". We are choosing the perspective of highly favored, an IDOL. So Minions my ask is, what else can we change our perspective in 2022? Here are a few ideas...
Let's start with the act of doing what we are doing right here, fundraising. We could pull out our wallets like we do every year, (and I hope you do!) but maybe with some different perspective on what fundraising is, you could also do something that you haven’t done before like share information about Autism (check out @neurodivergent_lou on IG for knowledge drops from someone with Autism you could share), join in this walk or offer to join any Autism awareness activities in your local community.
Another example is the perspective on why join this team? You likely know Mike or I & want to support our family. We are grateful, THANK YOU! You have helped build our esteem as individuals and as a family through this team. But what about engaging in the Autism community more in efforts to support Autism beyond the awesome Donoghue family? Ideas range from participating in local school events like Building Bridges week or small things that bring us together like wearing blue on 4/2 to support Autism Awareness Month.
You can also help others gain more perspective on what living with Autism is like by learning for example maybe just three basic facts about Autism and ensure you share those insights with others. Here are a few fast facts I recommend sharing with those who want to learn more.
1.Children & adults with ASD often care deeply but the lack of ability to spontaneously develop empathic and socially connected behavior. Individuals with ASD often want to socially interact but the lack of the ability to spontaneously develop effective social interaction skills.
2.Individuals with autism spectrum disorder have communication deficits. It is important to distinguish between spoken language and social communication deficits.
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. Individuals with ASD can continuously improve. They are most likely to improve with specialized, individualized services and opportunities for supported inclusion.
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.
You can also help shift the cultural perspective by helping to normalize life with Autism by reading books about the history of Autism like “NeuroTribes” by Steve Silberman, read books written by those with Autism like “Population One” by Tyler McNamer or just enjoy entertainment that depicts life with Autism like the new show streaming on Amazon called “As We See It” or Disney’s short film called “Loop”.
Lastly, let’s come together this fall to share our collective Minions perspective of gratitude.
Gratitude for Autism as I know for our family it has meant perspective into ourselves and our own limitations in communication, empathy and socialization. We have learned so much about ourselves becoming better people for it! Gratitude for those I have connected with thru Autism and how simple acts change everything. Gratitude for the community who have consistently stood with us and walked for Emmett.
From Emmett’s perspective, with the Minions behind him, there is no limit to his future. As always, our thanks. Looking forward to walking with you all.
Love, Jessica Donoghue
Emmett Thomas Donoghue's Mom, Student, Driver, Amazon Rep, Wrangler, & head Cheerleader