BENEFITING: ORGANIZATION FOR AUTISM RESEARCH
ORGANIZER: ORGANIZATION FOR AUTISM RESEARCH
I am not sure how to begin this, so I will just dive right in. Some of you may know, others may not, my nephew Charlie was diagnosed with Autism last year ago. What had been suspected, had been confirmed. Today I was honored to be accepted as a member of the Organization for Autism Research's(OAR) Run for Autism team and will be running this year's New York Marathon. I have set a goal to raise $3000 through fundraising, and am hopeful that we will not only meet this goal, but to crush it.
The Organization for Autism Research (OAR) was created in December 2001 – the product of the shared vision and unique life experiences of OAR’s seven founders. Led by these parents and grandparents of children and adults on the autism spectrum, OAR set out to use applied science to answer questions that parents, families, individuals with autism, teachers and caregivers confront daily. It was sobering to learn that Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) impacts 1 in 68 children (1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls). This disorder allows my nephew to be able to count to 100 by 19's and spell words such as celebrate and contagious (a word which spell check reminded me I misspelled...misspelled...whatever spellcheck!!).
I reached out to my brother to discuss the challenges he experiences on a daily basis. Mark discussed how Charlie had missed his first milestone, he was not talking at the 2 year mark, which alerted his physician there may be an issue. Testing was recommended which revealed Charlie had a learning delay. Charlie was finally diagnosed with Autism one year ago.
My brother talked about the high demand, low supply for services saying Charlie has been on a wait list for a year and how, even with insurance, the cost of therapy becomes prohibitive. Mark and Holly focus on the "aha" moments when Charlie is able to complete a sentence they start and the achievements he has demonstrated in school. Mark, Holly and Charlie are lucky, they have the support of family, friends and teachers, but there are many more children who do not have the same resources.
My part is easy. All I have to do is run. The challenges faced by families impacted by ASP are many. Although, in talking with my brother, he does not view these as challenges. He and Holly simply love Charlie and will continue to do whatever they need to ensure Charlie has every opportunity to live a happy and fulfilling life.
WHY RUN FOR AUTISM?
1 in 68 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with autism. By joining the RUN FOR AUTISM team, you're supporting OAR's mission to fund research and resources that help people with autism and their families today.
Here are some of the ways that OAR uses the funds raised by the RUN FOR AUTISM team:
- $10 provides a Curriculum in a Box professional development set to general education teachers.
- $25 provides 15 copies of A Guide to Safety to families and first responders.
- $100 provides the Kit for Kids peer education resource to an entire elementary or middle school.
- $150 provides 100 copies of a Life Journey through Autism guidebook sent to a community support group or military installation.
- $1,000 provides a research grant for a graduate student studying autism.
- $3,000 provides a scholarship for a student with autism to attend college.
- $30,000 fully underwrites an applied research pilot study.