20072nd-Bryan_ParentToday, over 3.5 million people in the United States have an autism diagnosis. These individuals are brothers, sisters, moms, dads, co-workers, grandchildren and neighbors. They are men and women, of all races, religions and cultures. Each person worthy of receiving the maximum level of dignity, respect and value; and the ability to access resources and supports to thrive and live the highest quality of life. While we know that can and should occur, the harsh reality is that it does not.

Study after study shows adults with autism can succeed in a wide variety employment of environments when given a chance to showcase their skills. Unfortunately, these individuals lag far behind the general population when it comes to professional opportunities. Seventy percent of high school graduates with autism struggle to find meaningful work immediately following graduation. That statistic would raise significant red flags in neurotypical communities; however, for some reason many view it as par for the course for people with autism. Every person ought to have the chance to be gainfully employed. It is not only the right thing to do; it is smart business.

Since 1965, we have been a leader in supporting people with ASD.  Born from a need to give voice to challenges and triumphs faced by those impacted by autism, the Autism Society exists to proudly represent these individuals and families to ensure they can pursue their desired goals and dreams. We are working with organizations across the nation to help individuals with autism succeed at every level. We are assisting people with ASD across the lifespan.

With your help, we can continue to be a valuable resource for families everywhere. On September 17, the Autism Society, affiliates and partner organizations throughout the nation will unite for The Big Give for Autism, a one day giving effort benefiting people with autism to assure that every person has opportunity to live a life of opportunity and success. Together we can create a world where all persons are afforded the ability to thrive. To learn how you can get involved, go to www.autismbiggive.org.

Can we count on you for the Big Give for Autism?

Scott Badesch