Would you believe it if your grandparents promised to walk across America to bring awareness to autism?
For Jackson, Elijah, Quinn, Grace, Nola, Addie and even baby Max, thinking Mema and Pappy were going to walk all that way — 2437.7 miles to be exact — seemed crazy. But it’s true!
Dan and Mary Beth Reardon, fondly known as Mema and Pappy, are taking off on a great adventure to meet families, therapists, doctors, teachers, mentors, and, most importantly, the individuals who experience autism in all its forms everyday.
Their goal is to document their journey — backed by the idea that “you don’t know someone until you walk a mile in their shoes” — and share it with the rest of the “typical” population that needs to understand the growing and changing needs of the autism community so that they can be positive changemakers not just for people with autism, but with people with autism.
Their secondary goal is to promote inclusion programs, such as Athletes 4 Autism, by raising $50,000 along the way. These funds will be used to open up more free, seasonal sports clinics across the United States. How awesome!
Beads for a Cause™ designs quality, cause-conscious jewelry that represent charities that are most meaningful to you. Beads like this “I See You” design symbolize a person’s commitment to autism awareness, research, education and inclusion, while a percentage of sales goes directly toward those efforts by The Autism Research Foundation. Use this bead to fundraise for your autism programming, too!
Autism knows no bounds. Every community can show support through fundraising and awareness with our easy-to-read guides. Community efforts are not only limited to local outreach, but often include working to get support from the celebrity community.
Often times, people believe that celebrities get involved in charitable efforts to better their image in the public eye. However, because the autism community is so unique, we at The Autism Research Foundation find that those who choose to work directly with us are doing so because they truly care and want to show support in whatever capacity they can. Wondering how you can get involved? Read about a real-life example with our inclusion program Athletes 4 Autism below.
Case Study: Athletes 4 Autism Wins as “GameChanger Charity of the Year”
theautismresearchfoundationRally Your Community Around Autism
Pioneering autism researcher and child neurologist, Dr. Margaret Bauman, answers your frequently asked questions: from early intervention to adult care. Share her insight with your autism community and check back often for new discussions about improving quality of life for individuals with autism.
Receiving an autism diagnosis can be overwhelming for you and your family, but understanding the disorder shouldn’t be. Use our autism glossary to navigate your way through reading all about the science and symptoms of autism.
At The Autism Research Foundation, there is something for everyone… and we believe it should be that way.
Inclusion programs engage kids of all ages and abilities in art, athletics, employment, and social events that encourage respect and appreciation for each other’s differences. An inclusion program can have positive impacts on learning and development, as it often leads to long-term social and academic success.
At The Autism Research Foundation, we believe that there is so much to appreciate in each individual autism spectrum diagnosis. Every kid has his or her own pattern of growth that requires different learning strategies. With the addition of an inclusion program, we can celebrate these differences in a way that brings everyone together.
Our immediate mission for our inclusion programs is to provide a rich and high-quality learning environment for all participants, so that they can optimize the experience to best fit their individual needs. Each day, we work on improving our inclusion programs because our goal as a foundation is to “improve the quality of life for those experiencing autism now.” As we look ahead to the future of our foundation and its program, we hope to make all of our inclusion programs available to everywhere and to provide a program structure that is replicable for volunteers to start managing themselves.
The inclusion programs listed below are just the first of many ideas that The Autism Research Foundation believes will be successful and helpful for the autism community. To learn more about each individual program, please click on the appropriate area below.