weekend: Autism Speaks Walk

This weekend we went to our first Autism related event. I didn’t realize that this was a family first for us, until Dave pointed it out as we were walking in. “How are you? This is a first for us. You ok?” “Oh! I’m totally fine!!” I said. We had done fundraising for Autism Speaks and signed up to attend the 5k they were hosting at Citifield.  I thought it would be really fun! 

But…honestly I was a little on edge. As we were parking, to get our attention and helpfully direct us the right way, the parking attendant yelled “AUTISM!!” at us and pointed to the parking lot. He was just doing his job…and I’m not sure there’d be a better way to handle something like that…but gosh, that rattled me. Then walking in and seeing how HUGE the crowd was and how the word “Autism!” was EVERYWHERE… I felt a little nervous and uneasy. Even the band on the jumbo stage had changed their lyrics to work the word “autism” or “autistic child” into the classics they were performing.

“Actually,” I said to Dave, “this is harder than I thought it would be.”

But, then we found our group.

And I felt more settled.

The crowd was enormous. There was a huge, huge turnout for this.

And the whole time the mood was really fun and positive and Andrew, one of the only kids from his school that showed up, got LOTS of attention from LOTS of people that know and love him.

And…we ran into these guys. Which was a pretty big highlight for Andrew. ;)

Part way through the walk, Andrew started a game of shadow tag…he ran from adult to adult saying “I got your shadow!” and the adults were so playful and joined right in. I keep thinking about Andrew’s little game of Shadow Tag (a game, he told us, that’s very hard play at noon). I love that he feels so comfortable with these people and that they are so good about his silly silliness. I’m just awash with gratitude today.

Especially for these three: his Kindergarten, First Grade and Second Grade teachers. He’s come sooo far…and they are a pretty big reason why.

Isaac probably enjoyed the Autism Speaks 5K the least of all of us. He’s not so good in crowds and has a little bit of a cold that was making him tired and crabby. But he did score an apple and orange from the refreshments table…so that was nice. ;)

And that’s a wrap. Beautiful day, great walk…but EXHAUSTING weekend. Expect another weekend post tomorrow with pics from Isaac’s birthday party! :)


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About robyn

I stopped teaching Kindergarten in 2005 to become the mom of two crazy boys here in Brooklyn. At first I thought being a stay at home mom meant that I needed to pour all my time and energy directly into my sons, but I realized somewhere along the way that being a rockstar mom meant not only taking good care of my boys, but also taking good care of myself. And taking good care of myself means pursuing something creative...just about everyday. I started Made In Brooklyn to motivate myself in my creative goals as well as share my work with others and perhaps inspire them in their own creative journeys.
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6 Responses to weekend: Autism Speaks Walk

  1. Susan says:

    Coincidentally, we spent the afternoon at the wheelchair expo. It was our third year going and, while I did notice right away that I was much less on edge than in previous years, I still took a good hour to warm up. It was a really great time, though. As we have the last two years, we came away with a couple of super helpful concrete things we can do. Glad the walk was good for most of you ;)

  2. robyn says:

    Wheelchair expo! I thought it was an “abilities expo”…do they mainly focus on wheelchair related stuff? I thought it was broader than that…

    Can’t wait to hear about the ideas you walked away with! Busy weekend for us both!

    Did anyone yell Spina Bifida!! at you? ;) I’m guessing not…but who knows?!

  3. Susan says:

    Yes, the official name is Abilities Expo but that isn’t very descriptive unless you already know what it is. I would say that 90% of it is wheelchair-focused. There are plenty of advocacy-type organizations that would potentially be beneficial to a lot of different people. And there is a cool horse camp there my kids love but the main focus with them is autistic kids. I think the organizers really want to expand the focus but the main reason to go is to see a lot of assistive technology stuff in person and wheelchair users need more of that kind of thing than a lot of other disabilities. Joseph got to try out a sling lift this year. I was so impressed at how brave he was. He just hopped in and was remote-controlling himself all over. Good times :)

  4. emm says:

    Wow Robyn. You raised over $300. That’s awesome.

  5. Robyn says:

    Actually it was closer to $1300! I have generous friends and family!!

  6. Mama V says:

    that picture of andrew with his teachers? it just floored me. bawling over here. gah.

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