Spreading the Word

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URI Hosts 6th Annual Autism Awareness Day

This past Saturday, April 20th, the University of Rhode Island hosted their 6th Annual Autism Awareness Day during a double header against Temple University.

This year, URI’s Run the Bases for Autism sponsored Joey’s Fund as part of the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism. Joey’s Fund is set up in memory of Josephine Grace Gay, a 7 year old who was tragically killed in the Sandy Hook shootings earlier this year. Joey was autistic and severely apraxic, meaning she could not speak. But, according to friends, family and people who knew her – that didn’t matter. Joey touched the lives of so many people. She was a warm hearted girl with a wonderful sense of humor and loved playing with her sisters.

This year, URI supported Joey’s Fund. Admission to the game was free and kids could participate in a number of games and activities before and during the game. There was a bouncy house, face painting, wiffleball, kickball and so much more. After the game, kids had the chance to run the bases with the URI baseball players. There were raffles and silent auctions that all helped raise money for Joey’s Fund.

Video Credit: RhodeIslandRams

It looked like such a fun day for everyone involved and I’m sure Joey would have loved it!

On another good note – the URI Rams defeated Temple University 3-1.

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Red Sox Stand Up for Autism

MLB Autism

Today was a great day to watch baseball. It’s April 15th, meaning every player in the MLB wore the number 42 to honor Jackie Robinson who made his major league debut on April 15, 1947 and forever broke the color barrier. It was also announced today that former Red Sox pitcher, Tim Wakefield, was named honorary chairman of the Red Sox Foundation.

These weren’t the only exciting things taking place at Fenway this afternoon. While Wakefield was spending time with Jerry and Don he mentioned that the Red Sox Foundation and the Jimmy Fund were focusing more on Autism this year.

On April 2nd, Fenway Park was lit up blue for Autism Awareness day. In addition to shining blue, the Red Sox are hosting Autism Awareness Day on April 28th.

The April 28th game at Fenway against the Houston Astros will raise money for Autism  by donating a portion of each ticket sold to Autism Speaks.

So, if you’re looking to go to a Red Sox game this year, go to Autism Day on Sunday April 28th! See a great game and support a great cause! Game starts at 1:35 p.m.

Spread the Word!

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Donate to Autism Research

In my last post I told you 7 facts about Autism. Fact #3 told us that having a child or family member with Autism can cost up to an extra $60,000 a year. Because of this high cost and today’s economy, many families are unable to afford the necessary therapy and treatment that can improve social skills and functionality of a person with Autism.

Take a look at some of these organizations and pick one to donate to. Help give a child with Autism the chance to overcome their challenges and have fun!

  • The American Autism Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing low-income children with Autism and their families access to recreational programs such as summer and after school programs, speech therapy and even scholarships to Autistic schools – all for FREE (with help of your donations, of course!) The American Autism Association also creates programs specifically designed for individual children so they can get the right service that will best benefit them.
  • Autism Speaks was founded in 2005. The organization has grown immensely over the years and is dedicated funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism. They also work to increase awareness of autism spectrum disorders and advocate for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Even if you can’t afford to donate money right now, you can always donate your time! Visit their website to find ways to volunteer!
  • The Children’s Institute is a state-approved private school in New Jersey with programs specifically designed to help children and young adults with Autism reach their full potential. TCI accepts all ages, from pre-school to the TCI Center for Independence for people over 21 years old.  Tuition is free for families and every little donation helps!
  • The Autism Society is dedicated to improving the lives of those with Autism and their families. They focus on increasing public awareness, they advocate for appropriate lifetime services for individuals with Autism and provide families with the most up-to-date information regarding treatment, education and research. Find a way to donate today!

Now that you have some information about each leading Autism Awareness organization. Please help them help those who can’t afford treatment or the right education for themselves or their children. Donate doesn’t always mean you have to give money – volunteering is a rewarding experience for everyone involved.

The easiest way to help it to SPREAD THE WORD about Autism Awareness!

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7 Facts About Autism

Hi everyone! As you saw in my last post – April is Autism Awareness Month, so what better way to spread the word than to educate people!

Here are 7 facts that you may not know about Autism (I learned a few things too!)

1. Autism now affects 1 in 88 children and 1.5 million individuals in the United States

2. Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.

3. Autism costs a family $60,000 a year, on average

4. Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding for childhood diseases

5. Boys are nearly five times more likely to have Autism than girls – Boys: 1 in 54, Girls: 1 in 252

6. In a study conducted at the Institute of Education in London it was found that 28% of people with Autism have an IQ between 85 and 115 (average) while 3% of people have an IQ of 115 or higher (above average)

7. While there is no cure for Autism, many children and adults can greatly benefit from Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) as well as occupational, speech and physical therapy.

Don’t wait for April to come around before you think about those with Autism and their families. Stay tuned for my next blog about ways to donate to Autism research.

Most importantly, don’t just practice awareness….practice ACCEPTANCE!

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