I will be racing again in the upcoming Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon to raise money for autism research and patient & family support resources.
I have three boys (ages 10, 13, and 15). My middle son Darshan is on the autism spectrum. Since he was diagnosed at age 3, he has attended school in a special education classroom, received speech/behavioral/physical-occupational therapy, and joined special needs extracurricular groups. He has made steady progress, but challenges remain that will likely continue for the rest of his life.
Darshan is a great kid – hard-working, loving, superbly honest and straightforward, and endearingly mischievous. Darshan loves bouncing and shooting basketballs, singing along to his favorite musical artists (Sam Smith, John Legend, Maroon 5), hanging out with his brothers, and eating In N Out burgers. Despite challenges with sensory processing, language, and academics, he continues to push forward – he is learning to swim, play piano (with a modified method), and build new academic skills. He has tried new sports this year, including bowling, bocce, and tennis. Over time, we hope to get to riding a bike, making a 3-point shot, and playing favorite tunes on the piano.
Raising a child on the autism spectrum is not easy. It takes time, resources that many families don’t have, and extraordinary patience and commitment. The parenting journey is different but still wonderfully gratifying. I want to give Darshan and kids like him, as well as their families, the opportunity to live the most productive and happy lives possible. Building awareness, developing tools to help parents, teachers, therapists, and coaches better teach kids on the spectrum, and helping families better cope are enormously beneficial – and that’s what a donation to this cause will enable.
I am swimming, biking, and running for Darshan and kids like him who show up every day with determination, resilience, and hope. Last year, I completed the triathlon and raised $5K. This year, I’m aiming to raise $10,000 for the Organization for Autism Research, which funds research on diagnosis, therapeutic interventions, and life care, and develops practical resources for families in need. I would appreciate your help in reaching my fundraising goal.
Thank you for your support!
WHY RUN FOR AUTISM? 1 in 36 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with autism. By joining the TRI FOR AUTISM team, you’re supporting OAR’s mission to fund research and resources that help people with autism and their families today.
Here are some of the ways that OAR uses the funds raised by the TRI FOR AUTISM team:
$10 provides a Curriculum in a Box professional development set to general education teachers. $25 provides 15 copies of A Guide to Safety to families and first responders. $100 provides the Kit for Kids peer education resource to an entire elementary or middle school. $150 provides 100 copies of a Life Journey through Autism guidebook sent to a community support group or military installation. $1,000 provides a research grant for a graduate student studying autism. $3,000 provides a scholarship for a student with autism to attend college. $50,000 fully underwrites an applied research pilot study.