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Team Sawyer Tate

Raised $2,997.91
Walk Goal $1,000



Help us reach our goal!

In addition to coming together in person to help create a world where all people with autism can reach their full potential, each Walk will retain the fun, remote-participation options introduced last year. Your safety is our priority — and no matter how you choose to participate, your support will be recognized and celebrated. Our community is stronger together, and we can't wait to celebrate one another and the amazing impact we are making together for people with autism and their families. Whether near or far, let's rally together on Walk day!

Columbus Walk

Columbus Commons



Sheri Weithman, Director of Field Development

Columbus Walk

Team Sawyer Tate

Thank you for taking the time and interest to hear our story thus far and hopefully join our cause. We've had so many thoughts, feelings, emotions, seasons, phases and many more to come, but our goal is to be a support to others and build a support team ourselves as we walk this journey! 

It is so easy for us to look from the outside and quickly judge people, situations, behaviors. I will be the first to tell you that prior to being a parent (which gave me no room to speak on it!) I've said things like, "My child will NOT act like that" and "We will NOT do that with our child". Another thought I used to have is that they put too many "labels" on children. As a family, we want to share these things to be open about the progression of our thoughts through our EXPERIENCE. 

4 years ago we were blessed to be the parents of the most precious boy, Sawyer Tate Conley. JG and I are so thankful that WE are the ones God chose to steward this amazing life! Gosh he is beyond sweet and so very smart it's incredible. 

We are eternally grateful to have been surrounded by people that cared enough for Sawyer in these early years to approach us with the hard, yet honest, conversation of ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). Thoughts came in waves: 
1. What does that mean?
2. What are we supposed to do?
3. What did we do wrong? Could we have prevented this?
4. What is ASD? 
5. I don't want my child to be "labeled"!

Just to list a few among the many. 
We received his official diagnosis March 2022. 

 Insert mind shift 

Those concerns above were out of fear, ignorance, and lack of faith. 

1. It means we continue to love and steward him. The truth says: 
"Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands." - Psalm 127:3-4
God's word is timeless and does not change circumstantially. ALL children are a gift, make no mistake! This doesn't exclude a single one. 
2. We advocate! We educate ourselves and let go of any stigma we held to. We try things without fear of what others think (this is hard). We continue to learn the awesomeness of his mind and how it works, NOT TO CHANGE HIM, but for us to parent him to the best of our abilities!
3. Nothing. Truth says that God has better plans in place than we could ever imagine. This was certainly not something anyone plans for but boy how he is using it to sift us and it brings tears to my eyes to think of the ways he will use Sawyer as he grows. 
4. Autism Spectrum Disorder could not be named better. As we continue to learn and talk to others, the levels and range of symptoms are beyond wide, making it very hard for some to recognize, diagnose and seek early intervention. There is no standard treatment, making it all the more important to be cognitive and surround yourself with people who meet them where they are to help them get to where they are going. For Sawyer, this means Speech Therapy, a referral for Occupational Therapy, two years of preschool to strengthen social skills, and our constant search for resources to help us to parent in a way that he understands.
Learn more at the link below:
5. We asked ourselves....are we concerned about a "label" or are we concerned for our child? And that answered that pretty quickly. Regardless, ASD doesn't define Sawyer! It simply tells us he is more unique than we could ever have imagined!
The stigma comes from those who have yet to have experience with it and the only way to change that is to talk about it. 

JG and I have decided to play a small part and join the fundraising efforts for Autism Speaks as we gear up to walk in Columbus on Sunday, October 9th, 2022. If you would like to join our team and walk along side us or simply donate on our behalf to the efforts of educating on Autism, we would LOVE to have your support! 

"It takes a village to raise a child. It takes a child with autism to raise the consciousness of the village."
–Elaine Hall

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