Sydney Krebsbach is a young professional who lives in Alaska and just so happens to have Autism. She was formally diagnosed at age 8 and with the help of early intervention, she was equipped with the resources she needed to successfully graduate. However, her story does not end there. Sydney’s struggles, and her ability to overcome them, carried on her schooling.
A Different Set of Challenges
After graduating with honors, Sydney faced the challenge of obtaining her driver’s licence, at age 18. From there through every season of life, from the small battles of daily communication to the bigger battles of finding a job, life presented a different obstacles for Sydney. Yet, with each new hurdle, Sydney’s perseverance, along with her access to resources for individuals with Autism, enabled her to succeed. Her story is an important reminder that the challenges of life with Autism does not end after a student leaves the school system.
Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD, is a lifelong condition that impacts millions of individuals. Often, Autism is portrayed as a childhood disorder. Focus tends to be put on early intervention and public school’s support for students with Autism. However, while both of these topics are crucial for individuals with Autism, it is important to remember that Autism expands beyond youth. Therefore, helping improve the quality of life for individuals with Autism depends on ongoing support into adulthood.
What Autism Speaks Does
Autism Speaks is an organization that works to “enhance the lives of people living with Autism” across all ages. They recognize that resources must be available for all stages of life in order to improve the quality of life for individuals with Autism. Sydney’s story demonstrates the positive outcome produced when these lifelong resources are utilized. Autism Speaks works to continuously expand the availability of such resources.
Bob and Suzanne Wright, founders of Autism Speaks, are grandparents of a child with Autism. They founded the non-profit with a desire to address the issue of lifelong support for individuals with Autism. Through the aid of families, friends, and communities, Autism Speaks works with like-minded organizations to provide a voice for the ASD community. They address issues such as global awareness and support research for determining the cause of Autism. In their efforts to support the ASD community, Autism Speaks has successfully given nearly $150M for scientific grants and research. The organization also assists in the continual access to transition plans so individuals with Autism can become independent adults.
In 2004, statistics revealed that 1 in 166 individuals had been diagnosed with Autism. Today, the numbers are up to 1 in 68. With the increase in Autism diagnoses, supporting organizations like Autism Speaks are more important than ever.
This year, the Neurobehavioral Association is sponsoring Autism Speak’s biggest fundraiser, the Autism Speaks Walk. The Autism Speak Walk is the world’s largest fundraiser for individuals living with Autism. Funds raised will support Autism Speaks, ASD related research and continued resources for the ASD community. Teams and individuals from all over will be walking for change. With the help of sponsors and donations, each step will raise funds for furthering the quality of life for individuals with Autism.
About Us. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.autismspeaks.org/about-us
Autism Society. (2018, June 01). Sydney’s Story. Retrieved from https://www.autism-society.org/stories/sydneys-story/
Autism through the Lifespan. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.autism-society.org/living-with-autism/autism-through-the-lifespan/
Fueyo, M., Caldwell, T., Mattern, S. B., Zahid, J., & Foley, T. (2015). The Health Home: A Service Delivery Model for Autism and Intellectual Disability. Psychiatric Services,66(11), 1135-1137. doi:10.1176/appi.ps.201400443