Do you love someone with autism? I do. My 27-year-old son, Casey, has high functioning autism and it’s because of him that I’m passionate about helping individuals with autism and the families who love them get the supports they need to lead full lives. Of course, part of getting that support is knowing where to turn, and that’s where this special issue comes in.
Smack in the middle of the magazine you’ll find our first-ever disAbility Resources Guide. Created by both the Arc of Greater Prince William and the Arc of North Central Virginia, this incredible tool bursts with information on advocacy organizations, community supports, recreation options, transition services, and more. How I wish I’d had such a guide when my son was growing up!
Beyond the Guide you’ll find profiles of families whose strength and determination to care for their kids will touch your heart, interviews with special needs students who are redefining what it means to be a college coed, a look at the healing power pets can bring to an autistic individual’s life, and a clear and concise explanation of Virginia’s waiver system. Many thanks to Lucy Beadnell at the Arc of Northern Virginia for her assistance with that feature.
My deepest thanks to Marilyn McCombe, Executive Director of the Arc of North Central Virginia, and Karen Smith, Executive Director of the Arc of Greater Prince William for undertaking the mammoth task of creating the Guide, to all those who contributed to this issue including Frannie Barnes, Christine Craddock, Robin Earl, Pam Kamphuis, and Kara Thorpe, to all those who shared their stories with us, and to the advertisers that grace these pages. Thanks also to Dennis Brack and Bruce Potter for their support. And last, but never least, to my son, Casey, for giving me my purpose. I love you.