100% of the proceeds go to the Autism Society of Central Ohio. ASCO is a grassroots organization for individuals and families affected by Autism in Central Ohio.
From the time my little brother was 5 years old, our family could sense he was more of a 'challenge' to raise. My parents had raised three girls, so many doctors, friends, and family chalked it up to raising a boy. Over time, he developed his little 'quirks' that make him so uniquely human; such as refusing to sleep on a bed (he slept on the floor with a blanket for 16 years!) and becoming the world's pickiest eater. Doctor after doctor he was 'diagnosed' with a range of acronyms.. ADHD..ADD..EDD. As well as vague medical diagnoses such as dysprexia, bipolar, and anxiety and depressive disorder. It wasn't until middle school that ASD was finally thrown into the mix... Autism Specturm Disorder.
My parents- God bless them- have met with countless doctors and therapists, have read a myriad of books and articles.. and yet nothing can prepare you for the day to day 'adventures' (as I like to call them) with Jarrod. Everything you know about being a parent is suddenly chucked out the window. After raising three kids, I can't imagine how it feels to feel like you're a new parent all over again. They have experienced countless 'failures' in our behavioral health system in trying to find Jarrod the help and resources he needs. I can only hope that one day famlies impacted by ASD are given the support and reources that they so much deserve and need. That way they can focus on what truly matters- loving those with ASD. No more hoops to jump through. No more calls from teachers who 'can't handle' your child. Just love and support.
Jarrod is constantly teaching me about love and patience and many things I take for granted. He is so strange (I can only say that because I am his sister!), but I love every little 'strange' thing about him. And after all- aren't we all a little strange in some ways? I think we could all embrace differences and 'strangeness' a little more in our lives.
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