This guest blog is by Liz Zurn, the Co-Chair for the Jacksonville Walk Now for Autism Speaks. Jacksonville will be walking on September 28th. To get involved at a walk in your area check out our walk page here.
Why am I still walking for Autism Speaks?
I was recently asked why I am still walking after all of this time. Jack is "high functioning" and in mainstream school. He is doing great, managing the symptoms of Autism. Able to use language and reading above grade level. Why do I keep walking?
So here is the answer...
I am walking because a few short years ago, Jack was NOT using language. He was NOT functioning at age level. He was NOT able to manage his behaviors or stims. He was almost completely echolalic. Autism ruled us.
And somewhere right now, at this very moment, someone else is starting their autism journey.
They are scared.
They feel alone.
They just found out what "stimming" means.
They are praying for their child.
I am still walking because there is still so much research to be done.
There is still so much education that needs to be given.
There is still so much discrimination that needs to be overcome.
There are Autistic children who are becoming Autistic adults in need of opportunities for employment and understanding.
There are 1 in 54 boys who will be diagnosed this year.
There are still not enough service providers, not enough resources, not enough advocates, not enough understanding...
So yes, my journey with Autism is at a place of peace. Some days, I even think myself a "Veteran," with battlescars made from meltdowns and miscommunications.
Team Jackaroo is still walking for Jack and for the 1 in 88 children like him. Walk with us.