Throughout the month of April, buildings are lit up blue in order to raise awareness for the struggles faced by those on the autism spectrum. Altogether, that accounts for thirty days out of three hundred and sixty-five which are dedicated to promoting a cause that, according to the CDC, affects 1 in 68 American children. And while 1.45% of children may not seem like an astronomically high number, consider the fact that as recently as 2002 that number was 0.67%–less than half of what it is today.
Suffice to say, autism doesn’t vanish after April ends, and thirty days is not enough time spent raising awareness in the community or supporting the parents, caregivers, and individuals who face the challenges posed by spectrum-related disorders on a daily basis.
Lincoln Strategy Group recognizes this and is proud to continue to support the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC) in their endeavors to help individuals and families affected by autism.
The organization was first founded by two exasperated mothers and an equally discontented pediatrician, all of whom were frustrated by the lack of consistent information and support for parents with children on the spectrum. In 1997, the trio sought to create the informative support system they lacked themselves and began a virtual research center for those seeking insight on living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
That small online center has grown into a significant concrete hub for researchers and families alike and now strives on a global basis to advocate for further research into ASD and to educate families on the best therapies and approaches to caring for loved ones on the spectrum.
But beyond just the stellar research, SARRC’s essence lies in giving hope to families and those impacted by the disorder. Though many parents raising children with disabilities like autism can, at times, feel lost and hopeless, SARRC strives to let those people know that they are not alone – there is hope for a brighter tomorrow. With the proper care and therapies, children living with autism can (and do) make substantial progress, with every milestone being a victory of pure joy, giving families newfound momentum to keep pushing forward.
While SARRC has made enormous strides in improving the quality of life of those on the Autism spectrum, more recently, the organization has begun advocating for earlier screening for Autism Spectrum Disorder. At the recent Autism Banquet, SARRC leaders spoke extensively about pushing the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommended screening age for toddlers who shows signs of Autism from 18-24 months to 6 months. It’s well known that early intervention therapy is vital to long-term success. So with earlier screening and detection, children won’t slip through the cracks and miss their best years of treatment – instead, they’ll have sooner treatment which translates into the potential for a higher quality of life.
As an organization, SARRC backs a number of worthy ventures for those who are affected by ASD, and does not limit itself to aiding just children; it truly focuses its efforts on providing lifetime assistance, from infancy into adulthood. In line with this aim, SARRC developed the ThinkAspergers App to help parents recognize and respond to autism spectrum behaviors in children and young adults. The organization also supports the efforts of First Place AZ, a housing community in Phoenix which prides itself on fostering an interdependent living environment for those on the spectrum that nonetheless encourages independence in its residents.
Lincoln Strategy Group is proud of its affiliation with this worthy organization and was glad to celebrate the SARRC’s twentieth anniversary at a wonderful charity breakfast in early May.
As Nathan Sproul, Managing Director of Lincoln Strategy Group, commented following the breakfast: “We thank SARRC for an amazing community breakfast and for being a continued support and resource for our families as many of us have loved ones that are impacted by Autism. […] We’re honored to play a small part in the revolution to help those living with autism reach their fullest potential.”