Posts Tagged ‘Long Island’

‘Meet the Leaders’ Spotlights Autism Speaks

August 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Cablevision’s Meet the Leaders will be spotlighting Autism Speaks, starring Autism Speaks President Mark Roithmayr and Long Island Walk Chair Michael Giangregorio. The half hour segment will focus on the organization’s mission and Walk initiative. Check your local listings to watch!

Air Period: August 14-20, 2011

New Jersey

Hamiliton, Raritan, Monmouth (Channel 118) 

Sunday thru Saturday: 6:30pm

Hudson and Bayonne (Channel 18) 

Sunday thru Saturday: 5:30pm

Elizabeth (Channel 18) 

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Friday: 5:30 pm

Newark (Channel 18) 

Sunday, Tuesday thru Saturday: 5:30pm

Air Period August 21-October 1
New York City, Yorktown, Ossining, Peekskill, Rockland (Channel 118)
Southern Westchester and Warwick (Channel 78)
Sunday: 8:00pm
Monday: 2:00pm
Thursday: 2:00pm

Wappinger Falls (Channel 18)
Monday: 2:00pm
Thursday: 2:00pm
Saturday: 8:00pm

Southern Connecticut (Channel 84)
Saturday: 8:00pm

Litchfield (Channel 5)
Thursday: 2:00pm

In Their Own Words – Hanging My Hat on Hope

January 31, 2010 3 comments

The 10th Annual Long Island Walk Now for Autism Speaks Awards Reception took place last week. It was a wonderful evening of celebration, not just because of the money we raised – over $1.4 million – but because of the people that came together to make a difference in the autism community. The night was about Brendan, Eileen, Joseph and all of the kids and adults affected by autism. This is a very special community and I am honored to be a part of it.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of divisiveness in the autism community in general, a lot of dissension, a lot of “my way or the highway” mentality. It is a funky energy that often baffles me. I believe it is rooted in the overwhelming passion that families have for their loved ones affected by autism. They face indescribable challenges, from the seemingly mundane to the enormous. They are desperate for answers. And the majority of society doesn’t get it. Most people don’t have a clue about what living with autism 24/7 is like. Add sleep deprivation to the mix, and there are powder kegs of emotion everywhere.

The flipside to the conflicting opinions, and the thing I hang my hat on, is hope. My hope for the community is rooted in the one thing that unites us, the bedrock and the common foundation for all of us – our loved ones. So we can be on very different sides of the fence – pro–bio–medical or pro–science, pro–vaccine or anti–vaccine, pro–GFCF diet or anti–GFCF diet, genetic or environment – but we are all in the same backyard, encompassed by the same fence.

All parents of children with autism – child or adult – that I have met are most passionate about their children. No matter what side of the fence they reside on, or if they are on the fence at all, or in neutral territory (like Switzerland); they are driven to make the best life possible for their children. They are hopeful.

That shared hope is what will unite this community in the long run, because no matter what your beliefs about what causes autism, we are in it for our children. The autism debate comes down to this – Danny, Tom, Kelly, Tyler, Brendan, Kevin, Jackson, Christian, Kerry, Nicky, Jonathan and countless others. They are individuals with names, faces, lives and families who love them. Call me an optimist – which I am – but I truly believe that under all the debates and arguments and contrasting opinions, the love and passion for our children will rise to the top and bring us together.

I believe that opposing sides will one day meet at the fence and that the first questions they ask each other will not be “What do you believe causes autism?” Or “Why don’t you believe what I believe?” It will be “Who is your child? Whom do you love who is affected by autism? Who are you fighting this battle for?” So that we begin at the beginning, and uncover our commonalities before we begin discussing what divides us.

Someday, we will have the answers we seek, no matter what path was traveled to find them. Some day … I “have a dream” that someday we will be a united community, not always in agreement, because that would be boring, but united in our passion for our children, or anyone we love affected by autism. I have a dream that someday, there won’t be a fence.

This “In Their Own Words” essay is written by Rose Ann Walsh of Northport, N.Y.

If you have a story you wish to share about your personal experience with autism, please send it to Autism Speaks reserves the right to edit contributions for space, style and content. Because of the volume of submissions, not all can be published on the site.


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