by Lisa Ackerman
My 17th autism awareness month came to a conclusion yesterday. 17. I have experienced 17 of these months asking for the same efforts – awareness. With the numbers now 1 in 68 or the newer 1 in 45 parent survey (1.) I would love to meet someone that is not aware or affected by autism and the toll it takes on a family – especially the individual living with the challenges. It would be refreshing to have a conversation that does not involve autism. But I don’t know anyone that isn’t somehow involved or understand much about autism.
In 2010, TACA switched our words to ACTION in our communications and efforts. We have never looked back.
Thankfully, we have some ACTION that occurred this month that did and will make a big difference for families living with autism. Hundreds have acted to help TACA deliver our mission to families who need us. We applaud and appreciate those efforts. Thank you all.
But TACA’s efforts are a drop in the bucket based on what is needed. Families living with autism every day are struggling more than ever before. They endure hard economic times, the small resources available have dwindled away in the past 7 years because of the sheer numbers of new autism cases being diagnosed. For many, TACA is their only lifeline. As a community, we need to do more for these families and their children.
Regardless of how you vote – this is an issue that everyone feels. Autism will affect every tax payer. The current annual autism costs are $268 billion a year with no end in sight (2.) Autism doesn’t care about how you vote. Autism just cares that you act.
The best part of April is seeing TACA’s almost 700 volunteers take ACTION to help families in their community. Part of these efforts is TACA’s Family & Friends campaign (3.) This campaign raises more than awareness about autism. It shares each individual family story, video, pictures and how they are overcoming obstacles. An important part of this campaign is also raising funds for TACA and our free services.
We just can’t stop work for families living with autism in April each year. Ask your family, friends, neighbors and providers to please CONTINUE TO act. Please share this important information to them on behalf of your child and hundreds of thousands of others just like him/her. For details please see this link (4.)
As we move into May, know this – our children are still affected by autism. We are painfully aware. The families TACA serves still need help. I want to thank you in advanced for acting on their behalf.