Katie Couric is an award-winning journalist and TV personality, well-known cancer advocate, and 'New York Times' best-selling author of 'The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons From Extraordinary Lives.'
Couric hosts and executive produces her own syndicated daytime talk show, Katie, which premiered in national syndication last September. She also serves as a special correspondent for ABC News, contributing to 'ABC World News,' 'Nightline,' '20/20,' 'Good Morning America,' 'This Week,' and primetime news specials.
My godson, Jay Burstein, was diagnosed with ASD ten years ago. Little Jay (he was named after my late husband, Jay Monahan) had no spontaneous language until he was almost five years old. He has worked incredibly hard --with many gifted therapists and teachers, and today Jay attends a special education program in a public school, where he spends part of each day with his mainstream peers in mainstream classes. I’m so happy to say, he rarely stops talking. For many reasons, Jay is very fortunate. I am incredibly proud of him and all that he has accomplished. I’m also so grateful for all of the dedicated professionals who have helped Jay —teachers and therapists can make such a difference for children with autism.
As I watch my own children transition to adulthood, I have thought increasingly about families whose sons and daughters require special attention and care. What lies ahead for Jay and the thousands of children on the autism spectrum, as they age out of school based programs? For every child- for every family- the answer and the path to that answer may be different. Each child is unique. Each child has special abilities. But given the fact that according to the CDC 1 in every 88 children is on the autism spectrum and that all of these children are becoming adolescents and adults we need to collectively help them and their families as they look to build lives of purpose and in some cases, independence. The degree of supervision and structure may vary, but our concern and support for these families should not.
Katie Couric with her 12-year-old godson Jay Burstein
On May 30th Liz Feld, Autism Speaks' President, and Lisa Goring, Vice President of Family Services, will appear on the Katie Show where she spotlights autism. Check your local listings.
Autism Speaks President Liz Feld on The Katie Show