GO AJ GO!
Today, over 70 million children and adults are affected by autism. Each of them has unique strengths, challenges and potential. Autism Speaks will be there for them. You and I can be too.
In June 2022, my son Ashton (AJ) was diagnosed with "provisional autism" at 18-months old and is non-verbal. When my family and I initially received the diagnosis we were devastated, overwhelmed, and uncertain about how autism would impact AJ’s future.
As a professional in the K-12 college and career readiness space I was fearful to learn “more than half of young adults with autism remain unemployed and unenrolled in higher education in the two years after high school. This is a lower rate than that of young adults in other disability categories, including learning disabilities, intellectual disability or speech-language impairment.” (Autism Speaks)
What I also learned is that early intervention affords the best opportunity to support healthy development and deliver benefits across the lifespan for individuals with autism. As an “Autism Mom,” I am determined to go above and beyond to bring awareness and do whatever I can to make sure my son grows up in a world where he is safe, accepted, and has the resources he needs. Today, AJ is 2-years old, attends a great ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) program 5-days week, along with speech and occupational therapy. I am hopeful and prayerful that AJ’s diagnosis will not prevent him from living a life where he can THRIVE and ACHIEVE anything he sets his mind to.
However, it takes a village! It takes support! It’s only through the dedicated support of people like us that Autism Speaks can continue their vital mission work. Each year, the Autism Speaks Autism Response Team makes direct contact with tens of thousands of individuals looking for advice or guidance and more than one million people access their free nationwide autism services and resources. They continue to partner and support research to improve the lives of people with autism by investing in science that will allow more personalized treatments and therapies. You can find out even more about where your fundraising dollars go at autismspeaks.org/our-work.
Please join me by donating to help me reach my fundraising goal.
Together, we have the power to enhance the lives of people with autism and make a meaningful difference. Thanks so much for your support!