Why am I walking?
Two weeks ago, when I registered for the Walk for Autism Speaks, I wrote this on my donation page:
“It’s not only okay to be different, it’s FANTASTIC!”
Those words were on the wrapper of a Dove Chocolate Bar, given to me by my son’s teachers. Ask him how his day is, and he’ll say “fantastic”. Every single time.
When our son was diagnosed on the autism spectrum in 2009, we didn’t know where to go or who to turn to. We didn’t know what the phrase “PDD-NOS” meant. We didn’t know if our friends and family would still be by our side.
Fast forward two years later, and here we are. Our family stuck by us. Our friends are still with us. And along this journey, we’ve made some new incredible friends that have become our family.
We found hope and a new beginning for our family. And it all started here.
We’re walking for all the kids like our son. For the 1 in 110 children on the autism spectrum. For the 1 in 88 military families living with autism.
For the child that was just diagnosed yesterday, and the one that will be diagnosed tomorrow.
We’re walking for hope. And for a bright beginning to their new futures. We’re walking to show that being different is pretty fantastic.
Join us. Please.
When I wrote this, I didn’t know that the child diagnosed yesterday would be my own.
So now, I’m walking for another.
I see the spectrum in my own children. I see the spectrum in my friends’ children. I see the spectrum of mothers and fathers coping with this diagnosis any way they can.
We need money to help our families. My friends need access to doctors, information about scientific research studies, respite care, support groups and increased availability of services.
My friends need hope and community. I need hope and community.
I’ll be joined on walk day by my family and by the people who have become my family. We’ll have a picnic at the park and walk by the ocean.
Together we will show the world who is affected by autism spectrum disorder. It’s me. And my boys. And the people who love and care about us.
Wait until you see how powerful we can be when we walk as one. Join us. Please.
“You’re playing so cool
Obeying every rule
Dig way down in your heart
You’re yearning, burning for some
Somebody to tell you
That life ain’t passing you by
I’m trying to tell you
It will if you don’t even try
You can fly if you’d only cut
Kick off your Sunday shoes ” – Footloose by Kenny Loggins