Written by Dagny Power, mom to Thomas and member of the "Libertyville District 70" team
My son Thomas is an amazing 11 year old kid who rocks on his electric guitar, has an amazing lightening-fast brain, is the kindest person I've ever met and has autism. The Autism Speaks Walk is something I became involved in through his school. His special education teacher, social worker, classroom teachers, and speech pathologist started a team and asked me to join them. I was, and continue to be, so proud to Walk besides these educators who have helped Thomas and given him the early intervention he needed to thrive in a public school setting. Not everyone has such a positive experience and my mission is to spread awareness and get kids the support they desperately need. I fundraise primarily using Facebook. My goal this year is $1500 and, as I type, I've raised $1385. Throughout the year, I share amazing inspirational videos or stories on my Facebook page. This keeps our friends and family aware of the fact that this is a cause near and dear to us. Then, when I start fundraising on Facebook for Autism Speaks, many people who love and support us are happy to donate by using the link that goes directly to our Walk fundraising page. In addition to using Facebook, our team has brainstormed some additional ideas including a teachers breakfast at Thomas' school, ice cream sales after school, and we've had tremendous success selling puzzle pieces for a dollar that are hung in the hallway at his school. We are all looking forward to the Autism Speaks Walk in Chicago on May 12th! For more information about the Chicago Walk, visit our website at www.walknowforautismspeaks.org/chicago.