Jonathan Schwartz is the father of two, and the President, CEO of CareZone. He was previously the President and Chief Executive Officer of Sun Microsystems, Inc., a Fortune 200 company whose pioneering innovations touched nearly every corner of the internet. He and his family live in San Francisco, California.
My name is Jonathan, and I'd like to explain a donation my company's making to Autism Speaks-and all parents facing autism.
A little over a decade ago, my brother and his wife adopted a wonderful little boy from Romania, who was later diagnosed as having an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). He also turned out to be profoundly deaf.
A few years later, I had a child of my own, and he, too, had development issues to which my wife and I needed to pay particular attention.
Neither my brother nor I had a safe place to organize information about our families, store important documents or instructions, or a secure way to keep our extended families or helpers up to date. So, like everyone else, we reverted to paper files, phone trees, and lots of email. There were great productivity tools on the web, but none tailored to the specifics-or privacy requirements-of caring for a child.
And if you've cared for someone in need, a child, parent or loved one, you know it's often very hard work. That's what motivated my friend Walter and me to do something about it-we left careers in the technology world to start CareZone, a private service for families taking care of loved ones.
Every year, the number of kids diagnosed with ASD's grows, and the rate appears to be accelerating. An autism diagnosis is hard enough, but it's also very expensive. Clinics, therapies, helpers, even simple changes to everyday living, they all add up. As you already know, Autism Speaks is a great group fueling research, and helping people take charge of an ASD diagnosis.
We started talking to Autism Speaks after launching CareZone, and committed to support their "Light It Up Blue!" campaign to raise awareness. After getting to know them, we also decided to make a donation to families challenged with an autism diagnosis, and to help distribute Autism Speaks's 100 Day Kit (a guide to making best possible use of the 100 days following your child's diagnosis) through the service.
So our donation is this: if you are a family member caring for someone on the autism spectrum, please feel free to use CareZone without charge - you can claim your account (or watch a quick screencast to learn more) at carezone.com/autism
I hope you find it useful, I know my family has. Helping families care for loved ones is what motivates us-so if there's more you'd like us to do, please don't hesitate to let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
In the interim, feel free to tell your friends.