The Big Give For Autism-Horiz_FullColorAs I am sure you’ve heard, seen or read by now, during last night’s GOP debate, the issue of autism surfaced in the form of a question about vaccines. While this has generated robust dialogue, as a parent of someone with autism, I wished the question would have instead led to a much needed conversation on the reality of life on the autism spectrum. Because as many of us know all too well, that is the conversation the country needs now. We need your help in making this conversation a reality. Will you join us today?

I have a son with autism who is 28-years-old. As a parent, what I am now concerned about are the unnecessary obstacles placed in his path as he transitions to the next stage in life. For instance, over 70% of adults with autism are either unemployed or underemployed, when we know most adults with autism are fully capable of working in a job that is related to their skill level. And, for those parents who seek support, access is often out of reach due to limited financial means, location, and other factors, such as waiting lists that can be up to five years or longer.

The reality is simple…autism does not discriminate – it touches people from all walks of life. However, people with autism experience injustices daily. From denial of adequate housing and employment, to failure of far too many public school systems that should provide an appropriate education to students with autism, society continues to fail these individuals.

This is why I became involved with the Autism Society of America. The Autism Society, with its over 100 affiliates and partner agencies, are doing all we can to change the national discussion to one of cause, hope and support. We want to help provide the highest quality of life for each person living with autism and we are helping individuals and families gain access to opportunities others take for granted.

We are doing all we can today, but with your help, we can do so much more. The Big Give for Autism is on right now. I ask you to support those who deserve nothing less than a helping hand and compassion. Together we can create a nation where each person with autism can achieve their maximum potential.

With your support, we can change the national discussion to one in which individuals with autism are appreciated for the unique gifts they have to offer.  And I think we can all agree that’s a great goal.”

Scott Badesch President/CEO