Put a handful of kids with autism in the same room together, and you'll have a hard time finding just two with the exact same diagnosis. But throw a couple hundred parents of kids with autism in the same room, and you'll find they all have one thing in common. They've been inspired by their amazing kids to make a difference in the world.
The growing number of kids on the spectrum has resulted in a growing number of people like Jonathan Singer. Since daughter Rebecca -- now a teenager -- was diagnosed in 1997, Singer has helped found an academy for kids with autism, written two books about special needs children, and driven cross country to raise money for the cause.
He's a hero for the special needs community. And now he needs your help.
Singer considers himself (and wife Michey) lucky to be able to advocate for their daughter. But he knows that's not every parent's story. As he explains on the website for the family's non-profit, which raises money for, you guessed it, the autism cause:
Consider the family where English is a second language, the single mom, or two working parents who work so hard they barely get to see their kids. These families are at a tremendous disadvantage because of a lack of understanding of the law, an inability to communicate, or in the case of the single mom, the sheer exhaustion of just trying to keep her head above water in order to survive each day.
It's the parents who have the advantages of being able to advocate for their kids who make a difference for their own children and kids of parents who can't. It's something that bonds the special needs community. And it's what makes what Jonathan Singer is trying to do now so incredible.
Singer has turned to Kickstarter to collect $18,000 in pledges before Autism Awareness Month is out. If he can raise it all by next week, he'll use the money to fund the process of his latest book, Driven, a means to spread the word about what it takes to be your child's biggest advocate. Although Singer makes it clear that this particular venture is for-profit -- donations will fund "design, copy editing, proofreading, marketing, promotion, and publication of the E-book and paperback version" rather than going to the non-profit -- the end result will show the rest of the world why someone who has spent 15 years parenting a child with autism can't just sit on his hands.
Kids like Rebecca inspire their parents to do great things. And those great things make a difference for every kid diagnosed down the line.
Want to help the Singers out and help other kids in the process? Check out the Driven fundraising trailer:
How has your child inspired you?
Image via Driven