You probably will not find our experience with autism to be much different from the many families that you may already know, this is part of the problem that has inspired us to be a part of the solution.

Shane Szlosek was born in May of 2005 and by all evaluations was as normal as could be. Like most parents, we did our best to develop Shane in every way that we could, hoping to give him every early advantage – Baby Einstein and all.

It was becoming clear by the age of one that Shane was behind in his speech, motor skills and in his ability to process information. That’s when I realized how lucky Shane was to have a mother like Tricia. She noticed it as a mother only could and recommended that we have him evaluated. If there’s a silver lining in all of this, it’s the fact that she had that foresight and we were able to get him into early intervention by 18 months old. He was diagnosed with autism shortly thereafter and our lives changed permanently.

It is difficult to read evaluations on Shane’s development as it applies to reading, math, writing, and listening comprehension. He struggles to develop relationships with kids his own age, because he is trapped inside this condition. He does not participate in organized team sports, or activities because of his limited attention span. Most difficult is not knowing where this ride is going to take him next, or where his longer term future lies.

We are, however, one of the luckiest families alive. Shane’s laugh puts a smile on our faces every day. His unbridled affection for family and friends is unrivaled. His electric energy level and enthusiasm could open a power plant.

Shane is equally lucky. He has a mother with the intuition to know something was not right. When it would have been easy to stick her head in the sand, she stuck her neck out for her son and got him what he needed. As important, is the support system Shane’s sister and best friend provides for him on a daily basis. At 9 years old, Mackenzie has taken Shane under her wing, constantly playing in his world, on his time and at his pace. She has been a godsend in his life.

We are fortunate and thankful to have jobs and resources to help develop Shane as best as we know how. There are so many that are not as lucky as we are and that is what brings us here today. Both single income households and/or divorced parents cannot support their autistic kids as much as they wished they could. Complicating matters are budget cuts that will deplete, or eliminate some very basic programs that these kids desperately need.

Our mission is to help special needs children and their families who require financial resources by providing support that enhances their life skills, education and quality of life.

Please join us on this journey.

 

 

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