On March 31, 2012 my family will once again participate in the Autism Society of Acadiana's Walk for Hope. This cause is especially important to our family as our eldest son Crawford was diagnosed with Autism at 18 months of age.
Autism is a serious neurological disorder that has robbed my son of the ability to speak, focus on any given task, and interact socially. It has robbed him of his childhood. Through intense Speech and Occupational Therapy, multiple medical treatments, and lots of blood, sweat and tears Crawford has grown into a wonderful pre-teen with many gifts to share with the world.
Monies raised through prior Walks have allowed our non-profit organization to:
1) send families to educational seminars and conferences to learn more about autism, autism treatments and therapies;
2) provide funds for families to access recreational and leisure programs for the person with autism;
3) provide books and materials to the Lafayette Public Library which are available for inter-library loan throughout the state;
4) host a very successful one-day seminar (in Oct. 2008) which was attended by nearly 400 area educators, administrators, therapists and other professionals;
5) award minigrants to area educators and therapists to support their efforts to help individuals with autism; 36 educators received a little over $20, 500 in 2011!
6) support 11 different autism support groups all under the Autism Society of Acadiana's umbrella, (see website for more info!);
7) host family activities and events for members of our support groups, for ex., back to school events, Family Bowling events, Annual Membership Meeting and Fun Day, etc.;
8) collaborate with UL on a mentoring program for college students with an autism spectrum disorder;
9) lease office space for our chapter to have a physical location in Lafayette Parish;
10) maintain a lending library for parents, family members and professionals to check out materials;
11) fund the salary of an administrative assistant to handle day-to-day business affairs, various duties and responsibilities;
12) produce a quarterly newsletter for our membership; and
13) have a fabulous website chock-full of information.
Many, many thanks for your support -- and please, don't forget to forward this link, http://www.firstgiving.com/asacwalk/2012-walk-for-hope-family-fun-day, to anyone who you think might want to donate to this effort, or, desire to form their own team for the 6th Annual Walk for Hope and Family Fun Day!! If you'd like to join OUR team, The Bourdier Bunch, please register at the above link and choose our team to join! We'd love to have you walk with us in support of Crawford, our family, and Autism Society of Acadiana!