This guest blog is by Nikhi Young, the Acting Walk Director for Central and East Texas.
Houston’s autism community mourns the loss of a dear friend, Jane Stewart, who passed away on November 11th. In 1981, Jane changed the landscape of autism services in Houston by founding The Westview School, a private, not-for-profit school dedicated to providing a nurturing, structured, and stimulating environment for special needs students. She was a pioneer in education and a champion for so many Houston families.
Jane and The Westview School have been long-time supporters of the Houston Walk Now for Autism, creating an annual team. Two years ago, Music for Autism approached Autism Speaks about working together in Houston to share their interactive children’s concerts designed for individuals on the autism spectrum, but we needed a home for these concerts. Jane opened her doors to us without hesitation and so began a quarterly concert series to bring families together. Annually, one of the concerts serves as the Walk Now for Autism Speaks Kick-Off Party.
Jane Stewart will be missed by so many, among them Autism Speaks, the students whose lives she touched, and their grateful families. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Westview School at www.westviewschool.org.