On Thursday, May 30th, the Katie Show spotlighted living with autism in an episode titled, ‘Living With Autism & Amazing Acts of Love.’ Katie kicked off the show sharing that the broadcast was long overdue, considering 1 in 88 children are now diagnosed with some form of autism. Several people who work on the Katie Show are affected, including Katie’s godson Jay, who was diagnosed with autism ten years ago. Fore more on Katie’s relationship with autism visit here, for a post she wrote for our official blog.
Autism has become an epidemic, and with 50,000 children with autism turning 18-years-old each year, a plan needs to be in place for them to have supports and resources to live full and productive lives.
President Liz Feld shared the history of Autism Speaks and how Co-Founders Bob and Suzanne Wright started the organization after their grandson Christian was diagnosed with autism. Christian’s mom Katie Wright was in the audience and you can read a wonderful blog she wrote here.
Liz explained the three pillars of Autism Speaks, Family Services, Science and Advocacy and how they all work together to improve the lives and futures of those affected by autism.
Katie asked about what it means to be ‘on the spectrum,’ for those who are not familiar with the term. Liz responded saying; people who live with autism have a different range of abilities. Some are severely affected, perhaps nonverbal or have other medical complications while they are some who are very competent, plus everyone in between. Another important point that Liz touched on was that autism doesn’t only affect the individual, it affects the whole family.
Unfortunately, we still are searching to find what causes autism, and science is crucial so that people affected can live better lives. There is an urgent need for services and supports for children affected by autism as they transition into adulthood.
Vice President of Family Services Lisa Goring advised that transition is one of the biggest challenges people affected by autism face. She said it is critical that while children are still in school they are working on transition skills such as living, pre-employment, and social skills as well as searching for different housing and residential services.
Lisa referenced the Autism Speaks Transition Tool Kit, which was created to serve as a guide to assist families on the journey from adolescence to adulthood. You can download the kit here.
Katie concluded the show with her godson Jay, announcing that they are going on a date to see the Broadway Show Annie!
Here’s a list of related links you may be interested in:
Living With Autism & Amazing Acts of Love
Important Recent Advances in Autism Research
By: Geri Dawson
Challenges Teenagers with Autism Face Transitioning to Adulthood and Resources that Can Help
By: Lisa Goring
Parents of Children with Autism: You are Not Alone
By: Katie Wright
Katie Couric Talks Autism
By: Katie Couric