On Saturday, April 23, 2011, I was asked to man the CARD booth at the “Walk Now for Autism Speaks” event at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. I had never been before and wasn’t doing anything else so why not. The event was amazing. Autism Speaks is a class act and has done so much to move the cause in the right direction. As the Contracts Director for CARD, I work with the folks in the Autism Speaks legislative unit.
These are the people trying to get states to pass insurance mandates so that needed therapy will be covered by insurance. They are amazing people and have succeeded in helping get coverage in 50% of the United States, all within the last few years. I should have expected that the Rose Bowl event would have the same level of excellence and organization.
By encouraging parents and participants to put a face on Autism by making up teams, usually in the name of their child, I’m sure that’s why they were able to raise so much money. I loved seeing the teams walk by with the child’s face and team name on the shirts.
When my son was diagnosed with autism 17 years ago we had nothing like this but thanks to Autism Speaks, there are events like this all over in which they not only unite families and communities to raise money for research and other needed services, they get all of the service providers together in one place so that parents can gather all the information on any of the types of services that might help their child reach their maximum potential. In one event you can talk to an ABA provider, speech therapist, occupational therapy provider, Regional Centers, advocacy groups, attorneys, recreational providers, you name it!!!
I meet hundreds of parents and kids and all were so nice and grateful we were there.