Last week I was honored to speak in Phoenix at a dinner for supporters of Think Asperger's. The invitation came from an old friend and mentor, Dr. Danny Openden, who is now President and CEO of Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (SARRC). Children with Asperger's Disorder often fall through the cracks. Language is different but not delayed. They have restricted interests and struggle socially. If left untreated, this can lead to a lifetime of challenges. The purpose of Think Asperger's is to educate pediatricians and elementary school staff to identify children with subtle social differences so they can begin interventions. Through Think Asperger's, SARRC has developed a screening tool known as Detecting Asperger's Very Early (DAVE) which begins the process of identification and treatment.
I was one of those kids who nearly fell through the cracks and so I was I was thrilled to be there last week and meet so many great and dedicated people. It is encouraging to know that the movement for Autism awareness is alive and well all across America. I am very impressed with the amazing work that SARRC is doing with both children and adults who are on the Autism Spectrum. Thank you, Danny, for allowing me this opportunity. It gives me great pleasure and much hope for all of us who are on the spectrum.