To recognize the start of Autism Awareness Month and Month of the Military Child, Autism Speaks is saluting military families March 31 in New York City.
The family-friendly event, held at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum Complex, located at Pier 86, W. 46th Street and 12th Avenue, honors military families affected by autism.
The current schedule is registration and breakfast at 8:45 a.m., a short program at 9:30 a.m., and kids activities and museum tours beginning at 10 a.m. A resource fair featuring American Military Families Autism Support, ACT Today! for Military Families, Autism Speaks and others is 9:30-11 a.m.
The event is hosted by Bob Woodruff, a correspondent with ABC News. Woodruff, who was injured by an improvised explosive device in Iraq in 2006, founded the Bob Woodruff Foundation, a national nonprofit that helps ensure our nation’s injured service members, veterans and their families return to a homefront ready to support them.
Scheduled to speak during the event are Bob and Suzanne Wright, founders of Autism Speaks; Susan Marenoff-Zausner, president of the Intrepid Sea Air and Space Museum; Karen Driscoll, Marine Corps spouse and mother of a child with autism; and former Astronaut Jeffrey Alan Hoffman, the first person to log 1,000 hours aboard the Space Shuttle.
Join other AMFAS families at the event and share your stories. Register for the event and receive further event updates by visiting the Autism Speaks page here. Seating is limited, so registration for families and larger groups is encouraged early to accommodate the party.
Directions to the Intrepid and parking information can be found here. If looking at lodging near the event, one military option is the Navy Lodge on Staten Island for $98 a night. You do have to take the ferry (that passes by the Statue of Liberty). Local hotels start at about $199 a night and up.
The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum is one of America’s leading historic, cultural and educational institutions. Opened in 1982, the Museum has welcomed more than 10 million visitors. The Museum is centered on the aircraft carrier Intrepid (CVS-11), one of the most successful ships in U.S. history, now a national historic landmark and one of the most unique attractions in New York City.
On the same day as the nation’s military services unveiled their new Facebook page layouts, American Military Families Autism Support followed suit.
AMFAS, the nation’s first grassroots support organization for military families dealing with autism spectrum disorder, was one of the first organizations to change on Feb. 29 to the new pages format that includes Facebook’s timeline. That format was unrolled recently for personal pages. All pages are scheduled to change to the new format by March 30.
American Military Families Autism Support wishes a Happy 375th Birthday to America’s National Guard.
To our part- and full-time citizen Soldiers and Airmen defending our great nation, we salute you.
To our Guard families dealing with Autism Spectrum Disorder, we are here for you.
Thank you for your service and thank you National Guard for being a critical component of our nation’s history and freedoms.
Here at American Military Families Autism Support we’re still plugging along trying to get more support options online for our families serving worldwide. Expect some new changes and additions to be visible in the next few weeks.
There are some changes in how we’re looking to push forward with the AMFAS wiki site at http://amfas.org/wiki. As you’re aware, the intent was to grow this out of a community perspective, setting up a shell that represented over 500 military installations worldwide and have the subject matter experts (you at your location) to take a little bit of time and file in the contacts and information you use on a daily basis for medical, shopping, therapies, etc. This site setup in February has now passed 11,000 views. Unfortunately feedback on the concept has been that it is too difficult to learn how to manage a wiki, to get in and do anything with updating information. While the original concept of our military families joining in to gather this information is still valid, we need to go back to the drawing board and re-engineer it. The new format will reside on an easier interface allowing you to simply fill in a form. The plan is also to integrate ratings and mapping features for each page.
If you’re a blogger who talks about your experiences with military life and autism, we want to hear from you. We are launching a new comprehensive Blogs page by Thanksgiving that will feed in content from bloggers who would like to join us in talking about our challenges and efforts. If you have never blogged but thought about it, we can setup a free blog for you. It would have the (yourblog).amfas.org URL. Two blogs who have taken up this offer so far are Major Autism and Pieces. If you host your own blog or are happy where it’s at on wordpress or blogger, we’ll link off to you on this page as well. If you’d like to contribute your posts with linkbacks to your site just send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Help build this community and spread the word on building more support and understanding for military families.
There are a ton of other jobs going on for AMFAS as we work hard to get the website up and build on trying to make a difference for all of you. Without you, this would be a waste of time. If you have and idea or a talent (writing, photography, graphic design, research, etc) and would like to participate in this project please let us know what you’d be interested in helping with. Together we can make a difference.