The Philadelphia Walk Now for Autism Speaks is just around the corner on Saturday, September 24th at Citizens Bank Park. Joe Mama, a well-loved dj on Philly’s 98.1 WOGL, has recently joined our efforts in honor of his son, David, who has autism. He brought his entire family into the studio to record this PSA to help promote the walk and we just love how it turned out!
Click here to listen to the PSA!
Autism Speaks Co-founders Suzanne and Bob Wright were featured in the most recent issue of the Nantucket Inquirer and Mirror, known as the Inky. The story, focusing on grandparents of children with autism, talks to the importance of the involvement of grandparents when a child is diagnosed with autism, or even before. Grandparents are often the first ones to notice signs that a child isn’t meeting their developmental milestones.
Suzanne and Bob started the Nantucket Walk Now for Autism Speaks back in 2007 to raise awareness in a town they call home for part of the year. Since its inception, the Walk has raised over $1.5 million. This year the whole town is showing its support with the declaration of Autism Week and over 80 restaurants turned blue this past Saturday. Thousands are expected to turn out on Saturday at Jetties Beach!
Learn more about the Walk here. Read the full story from the Inky here. Plus, read an Inky story about Friday’s “Cruise Night” for Autism Speaks at Don Allen Ford, where the Autism Speaks NASCAR race car will be on display, and read an Inky story about progress in autism research here.
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
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)
Wappinger Falls (Channel 18)
Southern Connecticut (Channel 84)
Litchfield (Channel 5)
This post is by Sarah Hamilton
After the Chicago Walk Now for Autism Speaks, our family and friends were so revved up to do something more that we came up with the idea to raise autism awareness in our local community – South Elgin, Ill. – and decided to walk in the 4th of July parade. As we brainstormed, with the help of Autism Speaks, we came up with the idea for the float. We liked the big puzzle pieces that were at the walk and thought that would be perfect for a float. We all wore our “Cole’s Crew” shirts to the parade because this year, our t-shirts just happened to feature red and blue (very patriotic!).
The night before the parade we started working on the float and put the finishing touches on it as we were lined up to start the parade. Everyone was so excited! My son Cole, who is autistic and who I thought wouldn’t like this kind of thing, was really into it! He liked riding in the back of the truck and though he didn’t say anything during the parade, later that day he told me he had fun!
During the parade, we heard many people commenting, “Thank you for doing this” or “my cousin/sister/brother, etc. is autistic” or “it is so good to see something like this”. When our float was being announced during the parade, many people stood up for us and clapped or cheered (although many were waving and cheering along the route as well). Some people looked like they were wondering what our float was about, and I hope those are the people who went home and looked up Autism Speaks!
We ran out of goodies to give out to the crowds lining the street and we were all tired, but it was such a great day and such a great way to raise awareness! After the parade we got many compliments on the float – some people even said it was the best in the whole parade. All the family and friends that walked with us have already posed the question of doing this again next year…………
Definitely a success!
Can you BELIEVE it?
We Bostonians love our sports and our beloved Bruins. Everywhere you look you can see the B’s team logo and very often it is accompanied by one word: BELIEVE
On June 15, the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup for the first time in 39 years. Can a night get any better than that?
Why yes, yes I BELIEVE, and now know firsthand, that it can!
The night of June 15 was an incredible night for the boys in black and gold and for all the Bruins hockey fans who BELIEVED… but it was even better for this mom from Braintree.
I attended a very special event hosted by Teamsters Local 25 at Raso’s Grille. The Teamsters Local 25 Union has worked tirelessly over the past four years to fundraise for autism research and awareness. That night the Teamsters presented a check for $170,000 to the Greater Boston Walk Now for Autism Speaks! Allow me to repeat that…$170,000!! I still don’t think the enormity of their generosity has truly sunk in yet. Here comes that lump in my throat again!
If that wasn’t enough to blow my mind, the Teamsters also wrote checks AGAIN to support Melmark New England, a school serving children with autism and a wide range of developmental disabilities, as well as to the Braintree American Little League: Challenger Baseball division.
The Teamsters generous gifts are so important to me on so many levels – as a long time volunteer for a cause that is near and dear to my heart, serving my 4th year as co-chair for The Greater Boston Walk Now for Autism Speaks, but most importantly as a mom of a wondrous, talented, courageous, beautiful, funny, loving little boy with autism. And it just so happens this miraculous son of mine plays on the very same Braintree Challenger League that was also the fortunate beneficiary of The Teamsters generosity!
WHAT A NIGHT! I’m a BELIEVER…are you?
Have you hugged a Teamster lately? Go on, they won’t mind, I swear.
So as the Bruins players raised the Stanley Cup proudly above their heads and made Boston fans’ dreams come true, I raise my cup to Sean O’Brien, Trish DiSilva and all members of The Teamsters Local 25 who BELIEVE in the beauty of giving back … it’s just what they do…it’s just how they roll…their commitment and drive to make a difference is so inspirational. THANK YOU doesn’t seem adequate to convey my deepest gratitude.
I BELIEVE strongly that the Teamsters Local 25 support is paramount and critically important to our local autism community…and just like the Bruins, they make dreams come true for so many families in Greater Boston.
Do you BELIEVE in miracles? This mom from Braintree sure does.
Ido Kedar is a fourteen year old 8th grader in all general education at his local middle school, which he attends with the with the support of an aide. Ido is also non-verbal and communicates via letterboard (unassisted) or dynawrite. He was not able to demonstrate that he understood language fluently until he was age seven. It took several years after that to convince the school district to remove him from his remedial autism class and since, he has taken off running.
“I am here to represent the point of view of people with autism who don’t speak. Some of you might be parents of non-verbal people like me and stopped believing it was possible that your child could ever learn communication or even to understand.
I don’t doubt that experts probably told you that it was false hope to imagine that your child could talk. Well, I don’t talk but I still go to regular middle school in regular classes and do regular schoolwork, and I get good grades. I tell you this, not to brag, but to give you hope.
I don’t need to talk with my mouth. It’s too hard. But I’m able to communicate thanks to my letter board and dynawrite. It was a long journey to get to here from where I started. I had years of silence and rotten frustration. I was totally not able to show people I understood, so I suffered inside while my specialists chose wrong for me.
It was the worst, and I know it’s equally challenging for parents too.
I want people to know that not speaking is not the same as not thinking; that poor fine motor is not the same as not thinking; that impulsive actions are different than not understanding right from wrong; that poor facial affect is not the same as not having feelings; that boring people to death is denying them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
But here’s my hope. I went from so bored in school in remedial education when I couldn’t communicate to a diploma path in high school next year. How, is the story of the potential in your kids.
Teach them interesting things. Read them age appropriate books. Talk normally to them. Not, “go car,” “say hi,” “good job.” I believe many autistic people are understanding inside and can’t show it. To be talked to like a baby is so frustrating.
The letter board was my freedom. This is it.
It takes a while to learn how to use it, but it’s worth it.
Communication is the most important thing.
I used to dream of talking, of course. But I am not free because I talk. I don’t talk. I am free because I can express my ideas in pointing to letters, in typing, in my blog and in my speeches. I am not lonely now.
Autism is a deep pit. Don’t give up.”
We are thrilled to announce that Kyle Cousins will be hosting a LIVE Facebook Chat on April 20 at 1pm EST!
Kyle is a 20 year-old singer-songwriter who also happens to have autism. He began his journey with autism at two years old by losing all his language. Through years of intensive interventions and family support he has made continual progress; so much so that now he loves nothing better than to express himself onstage through his music. Cousins champions the autism awareness movement in his anthem “Everybody Wants to Be Heard,” now the theme song for Autism Speaks and it’s campaign Walk Now for Autism Speaks. He is proud to be a source of hope and inspiration for the autism community.
Kyle will be teaming up with Autism Speaks U and SHARETHEMIC to debut his band in New York City, April 21 at the UC Lounge. Doors open at 7pm ET, bands start at 8pm. All proceeds from this concert goes to Autism Speaks U. We’d love for you to come out and show your support! See poster below for details. This is a 21 and over event.