Shoot for Autism Awareness
FUNDRAISER SET UP DEADLINE: Mar 11, 2014
I started this match because of my own experience with Autism. My Son Nicholas was diagnosis on January 31, 2011, at the age of two.
At the time of Nicholas's diagnosis, Autism was affecting 1 in 100 children, today the CDC reports the numbers is 1 in 68.
Every year, when my call for help goes out, I am overwhelmed by how far it reaches.
Gun companies donate raffle items even though they get no media attention.
Some of the top USPSA shooters have brought national attention to this match even though they will never shoot it.
I am not a well known competitive shooter, I barely made C class in open, I am just a mom of a six year old amazing boy with Autism that shoots because it's my outlet, my "me time."
Area 7 has supported this match with so much intensity. I am always blown away but the support from this community.
Competitors show up even though the winners do not receive prizes, and the match fee is double that of a typical level 1 match.
The most important part of this day is that everybody learns something about Autism.
Your generosity directly affects local children affect by Autism by providing them with tools that these children so desperately need.
On January 2011 I heard the word "autism" used to describe my son Nicholas for the first time, He was 2.
Following that fateful visit with the Behavioral Pediatrician, I visited many other professionals including medical doctors, speech pathologists, occupational therapist, and behaviorists. The list seemed endless. The common message I was given: not to get my hopes up, Autism is not curable and many people go into financial hardship tying to do the impossible. In fact, I was told my 2 year old son may never speak. All I could think was that I will never hear him say "I love you mommy".
Refusing to give up on my son, I spent hundreds of hours searching the internet, reading books, and watching educational videos. I did this all because I was sure Nicholas could grow far beyond his label, I wanted him to have the best future despite his Autism diagnosis. I wanted to hear his voice.
I was sure there were ways to teach Nicholas, and I was right. But so were the experts -- I was about to put my family into financial despair by chasing any glimmer of a chance Nicholas could reach his full potential and maybe even speak.
Fast forward years later...
With tools like iPad, speech therapy, Applied behavior analysis, Occupational therapy and lots of patience and money Nicholas did learn to speak.
His improvements are outstanding, I am so proud of him. And yes, he even says "I love you".
Improvements can be made, but at what expense? I am all too familiar with the expense of Autism.
No family should ever have to choose between helping their child or keeping their home.
Unfortunately far too often that is a choice a parent of a child with Autism is forced to make.