"Think about direction...now, stand..."

It's another cool, pre-fall night and I love it! Despite the fact that I can feel an allergy-induced illness coming on (I always get 1. sick and 2. insomnia when the weather changes) the chilly mornings and nights make me happy!

It's been a busy, busy week, starting with a birthday celebration on Sunday, followed by the end of PJ's sessions of Occupational Therapy at CHOP, his usual Early Intervention therapies, a play date or two, dinners with family, and the beginning of a course of speech therapy sessions at CHOP.

The week will end with PJ and I getting up early on Saturday and heading over to Philly to participate in the Walk Now for Autism Speaks, which will help not only find the cause and cure of Autism, but will also help fund the treatments that are so amazingly important. Really. It's very, very important.

Bottom scores are his recent ones! Good stuff.
When we started this journey, PJ didn't have a formal diagnosis of Autism, but thanks to the privilege of Early Intervention in this state, we were able to get help for PJ when we started to notice that he was missing his milestones. PJ was able to receive therapies in occupational and physical therapy, developmental integration, and speech therapy. When we started one year ago, PJ was 20 months old, and with a raw score of 30 on the evaluation performed by EI, had the receptive communication (ability to understand what he is hearing) of an 8 month old. A year later, he doubled his raw score and slashed his deficiency from the standard norm in half. And his scores in other areas- fine and gross motor, personal/social skills, cognitive ability- all came up as well. He has done nothing but improve since he started therapy.

And that kind of progress, y'all? It ain't cheap. Although actually, it's cheap for us. Thank to a sliding fee scale, the fees for this service will never be more then you can afford. But it has to get paid for somehow, and donations to Autism Speaks are just one way to make sure ALL children affected by Autism can have the opportunity to make the same progress PJ has. Not every state offers what New Jersey offers, either. A recently made a new friend through my blog who is going through the same thing, but sadly, the programs in her state are very far behind the ones in NJ. And who falls behind when this happens? Without his therapists, without his doctors, without all of this help, Pete and I would be floundering, and PJ would still, likely, be nearly silent.
PJ working hard during OT!

So I'd ask you to think of PJ; think of my tall, smart, gorgeous niece Grace; think of the son or daughter of your friend or family member. Autism affects 1 child in 88, so it's likely you know somebody affected. Think of your own beautiful children, and imagine if things were different.

You can click here to donate. Donations can be made online, or you can print out a form to be mailed in. If all you can afford is a dollar and the envelope to mail it in, that's one dollar closer to a cure for Autism and therefore, it's pretty damn awesome.
I know that I will be walking Saturday because after all of the work that PJ has done, I can put in a little work, myself.

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