2012 marks the 7th anniversary of our support of Autism Speaks advocacy and fundraising efforts on behalf of individuals with autism through our own organization, Owen’s Turn. Owen’s Turn began as an effort by Anne and I to bring attention to the plight of children affected by autism, and their families. Today, Anne and I are privileged to sit on the sponsorship committee for Autism Speaks. This year is special for us, as Owen is featured on the Autism Speaks website promoting the 12th Annual Autism Speaks 4th of July 5k in Potomac, Maryland.
When Owen was diagnosed at age 2, society understood autism as the “Rain Man” disease. Autism was also misunderstood by the medical community. In order to get the medical treatment Owen needed, we had to travel to Florida regularly because there were only a handful of physicians in the United States who accepted the biomedical approach to autism. Even today, mainstream medicine is reluctant to lend much credence to biological and environmental links to autism. Owen has made remarkable progress over the years thanks to his teachers and doctors, but more importantly thanks to his family and friends. Owen did not speak until he was 5 years old, and even today has a vocabulary of only a few hundred words. Despite his limited vocabulary, Owen understands what is going on around him and what is being said about him. Five years ago, Owen did not have the gross and fine motor skills to throw or catch a ball, or the coordination to do much more than walk. Today, you can find Owen in the cul de sac playing basketball or riding his scooter like any other 12 year old boy.
Thanks to Autism Speaks’ efforts, today autism is recognized for what it is, the fastest growing disability of our time, claiming more children than pediatric cancer, diabetes and AIDS combined. Your contributions to Autism Speaks through Owen’s Turn will assist biomedical research into the causes, prevention, treatments and, perhaps someday, a cure for autism.
Please click on the link and join us on the 4th of July or donate today!
Eddie, Anne, Emily, Owen and Meghan Nuttall
Follow This Link to visit my personal web page and help me in my efforts to support Autism Speaks