First, I want to thank everyone for all your support the last seven years. We would not have such a terrific photo of three happy kids without the love and help of so many friends and family members. Pat's great smile is worth a million words. Because of your help we've been very lucky with the help, education and inclusion that's made his great smile possible. Wait 'til 2011 to see what $5K worth of orthodontics adn periodontics will do for a smile:) The braces went on last month. He only pulled the top wire out twice so far:)
Anyway, John and I want to thank everyone. Patrick is a happy, eighth grader getting ready to enter high school. He's had a good year. He is at Cole Middle School and on the purple team. He's done very well at Cole. This year has been exceptionally good for Pat. We've delved into the biomedical approach to autism and have seen great results. His teachers comments, "Different Kid!". He is calmer, less anxious and so conversational.
Patrick was also diagnosed with Celiac's Disease this summer. This means he's allergic, unable to have anything with gluten (wheat) in his diet. To say he's been a trooper is the understatement of the century. Patrick does not cheat. We let him have two pieces of Ronzio's Pizza each month. Patrick plans carefully and savors each and every bite:) He has grown 3 inches and lost 50 pounds since August 2008.
It's been a great year. Mike is a freshman at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY and Danny is a freshman at Hendricken. For all the struggles and heartache autism has to offer, I think it's shown what terrific and kind and caring brothers and friends to others Mike and Danny can be. John and I could not be prouder of the genuinely great kids Mike and Danny are. Patrick is so very lucky. Because autism impacts the siblings too.
This Sunday is the 7th Imagine Walk and Family Fun Day. The Autism Project remains dear to my heart. It is so important to keep working for the many families that continue to call every day. We also work hard to teach educators how to teach our kids in the PUBLIC schools, we work with community organizaitons to support our kids in typical activities and we help families who are falling apart under the stress of raising a child or children with autism.
We know it's a tight year all around. We appreciate any little bit you can give to keep the support available to so many families. We've been so lucky and work to help others get an equally great family photo.
Thank you all:)