Click here for more information on Autism Speaks.
Regardless of sexual preference, relationship, or background, we all share a common interest - our families. For all of us who know a relative or family friend with Autism or are just looking to help others in need, by buying this item you can help support the cause!
100% of the proceeds (the full purchase price!) from this item will be donated to Autism Speaks to help fund the fight to treat and end autism!
From their mission statement:
Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Bob and Suzanne Wright, grandparents of a child with autism. Their longtime friend Bernie Marcus donated $25 million to help financially launch the organization. Since then, Autism Speaks has grown into the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. We are proud of what we've been able to accomplish and look forward to continued successes in the years ahead.
There’s plenty of love to share for all of us, and with your support we can help ensure they can lead just as exciting and fulfilling of a life as we hope to give in your bedroom! We thank you on behalf of those in need to help make their dreams come true!
Why Autism Advocacy is Important to me:
I’ll never forget the day I came to the realization that there was something different about my daughter. Her first word was Dinosaur at 11 months and then nothing. She was in a fog and a haze. She felt no pain and had no awareness of danger. She was a runner (which means they run if you are not holding them; as in they will fly out the door in a second and it’s terrifying) and I lived in constant fear for her safety.
When we finally got the diagnosis at age 3 after numerous doctor visits, I was stunned. I had never imagined that a word I had never even heard of would change my life. Autism would soon become my life as I worked tirelessly to help support, care for and love my autistic daughter.
Over the years, I’ve spent more times in ABA therapy and IEP meetings than I did in college and it’s been quite an education. I’ve learned to be humble. I’ve learned to be kind. I’ve learned that tomorrow is another day and even when you are on your knees praying for help to God for your child’s safety…that the sun will come up tomorrow and a new day will start. I’ve had my highest highs and my lowest lows from Autism.
I never thought I would be so truly humbled to hear a child say the word “cup” at age 4 but it brought me to knees with a flood of thanks and gratitude. Everything became more precious and our daily struggles became endurance races. How much could we go through and how much could we do to help her lead the best possible life? What would her life even entail? How could I be the best possible parent for her? Would she be safe? Would what we were doing ever be enough for her? Night after night, I struggled with these gut wrenching questions and filled my time with prayer. God give me the strength to be whatever it is I need to be for her – a warrior, an advocate, a friend, a soft place to always know love, and to be everything possible was what I prayed for.
In my darkest hours, I sank to my knees and hung my head as my body wracked with tears. I was so afraid for her and her future. What would it mean for her and for her life? Never mind how it had affected our family. I’m thankful to say that I believe I have weathered the storm and that she has as well. It has been my biggest defining moment and my greatest challenge.
To support Autism Speaks to me means supporting other parents just like us. Parents who struggle day in and day out with just even putting socks on their children or the three year process to be able to comb your child’s hair. (Can I just say that I have the absolute best husband in the world who has been AMAZING throughout this entire journey?!)
Each Autism Parent has their own story as does each and every one of us. My story and struggle is not unique but I feel that what I can do in providing my support and by supporting this and other worthwhile causes can make a difference.
To me life is about giving back, about the being the person you can be and leaving the world a better place than when you when found it. It is an honor and privilege to be an Autism parent and I am thankful for all the lessons I’ve learned from it. It’s made me humbler, kinder and more appreciative. I see beauty in the stars and the wonder in a shirt which isn’t considered “too itchy” to wear. Before I became a special needs advocate due to my daughter’s autism , I had the honor of volunteering with Special Needs children in Junior high, volunteered in Special Olympics and have also since then have become additionally an international special needs adoptive parent. I had never thought that my life would be so blessed and so honored by being a part of the special needs Community. Through their wonder, I find myself marveling at the world again. Through their beauty I find myself humbled beyond all words. The smallest and most simple things become huge and I am forever touched and grateful by the spirit of the Special Needs community.
We are not tested by what happens to us, but instead by what we do with it. I hope that if you are a parent dealing with the very real and difficult life of raising and caring for a child with Autism that you find your strength and your faith in your darkest hours. This goes for any one and every single one who is facing any type of difficulty in your life. Whatever you are going through, wherever you are, it will get better…I promise. Just keep the faith and keep putting one foot in front in the other. Remember to breathe and let go what you cannot control. Tomorrow is another day and it will all look better in the morning.
I PROMISE. YOU CAN DO THIS.
Autumn’s Irrelevant P.S. –
Here are just a few of my favorite Autism Mom Meme’s. If you can’t keep your sense of humor while you have an autistic child thrashing about, biting your head and peeing on you all at the same time while you are holding them in the middle of Target, then really - what have you? :)