As we reflect on 2019 and head into the height of the holidays, we want to wish all of your families and supporters a wonderful, safe holiday and happy new year.
I am writing to you today to both highlight our many positive accomplishments in 2019, as well as to ask for your financial support to help us continue to provide the many services, programs, and activities for those on the spectrum in 2020. Your support is vital to our ongoing efforts.
2019 was a successful year for ASRC! Some of our highlights include:
• We had over 100 vendors participate and over 650 families attend our ASRC Autism Resource Fair
• Our ASRC Walk for Autism was an unparalleled success and we continue to expand this fun-filled annual event
• We participated in a multitude of community activities that brought awareness and resources to the ASRC family and the larger community
• ASRC helped over 1,000 Connecticut families navigate the spectrum
• We continued our Parent Supporter program that allows ASRC to help and advise more families across the state, parent to parent
• We now have two ASRC board members on the Legislative Autism Advisory Council to monitor legislative initiatives impacting individuals on the spectrum
• ASRC helped to pass a bill that lowers the transition age in Connecticut public schools from 16 down to 14
• ASRC partnered with Project CASY at Yale to host the first Autism Pride Event on June 18
• We hired Rachel Varvatis as Recreation Coordinator and Training Specialist. With her expertise we were able to launch an aggressive fall workshop series with over 200 attendees
• ASRC was involved in a multitude of local, regional and statewide events and activities centered around the concept of education, outreach, and support for those on the spectrum
As 2019 comes to a close, we are all contemplating our priorities for 2020. The Autism prevalence has risen to crisis proportions, with the CDC now estimating 1 in 59 have ASD. It is not surprising that we are now experiencing a surge of young people with ASD transitioning to adulthood. Based on U.S. Census data and ASD prevalence estimates, over a half million youth with ASD will turn 18 over the next decade. Unfortunately, they are entering a health and social service system that is largely unprepared for them.
The development of supports and additional resources for families with a child on the autism spectrum is what we provide at ASRC, and the financial requirements to make that happen are a daily challenge. Please help us continue those programs by supporting us at www.ct-asrc.org/donate, or by returning the enclosed envelope. Your support of $250, $150, or an amount you are comfortable with will make a positive impact to those on the spectrum – and helps ensure that we can continue to provide the outstanding programs you expect.
Individuals with autism deserve to have a chance for a good life in the community. It is especially important for those of us who care, to do all that we can to make sure that remains a priority. Please – make a donation today. A person on the spectrum is counting on your support.
Thank you for all that you do for the autism community.
Leslie J. Macnab
Executive Director, ASRC