By Karen Wolf-Branigin
Director, Autism NOW Center

The July 2013 Autism NOW Center Prism newsletter is about pride – a sense of one’s own worth. Learning about ordinary people who do extraordinary things can be inspiring. My cousin Therese Smith from Westland, MI was recently awarded a White House Champions of Change Award and I was delighted to accompany her to the celebratory activities. While I was simply a guest, I felt proud to know and be with her on this important occasion. Feeling proud of yourself or someone you know is a wonderful feeling. We believe that you will enjoy this edition of Prism where we celebrate Autism Pride.

Autism Now Resources
The Autism Now Center has several resources that exemplify personal pride. Take a few minutes to read a blog by Nicole LeBlanc, a member of The Autism Now Center’s National Advisory Committee, as she shares her perspective on personal pride.

Bonnie Zampino is a mom and in her lovely blog “Words,” she opens her world to readers and describes the pride she has in her son Brendan. We’re proud to bring you her story as we celebrate pride.

Autism Pride: What are we learning from others? is a website dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments of the Aspergian community. Much more than a website, contributors share information and inspiration on Autistic culture and civil rights.

A program in Halifax, Nova Scotia teaches autistic adults how to make jewelry. The Promise of a Pearl program recently decided to bring their crafters and their products to a community market. Learn more about how these proud business people are living fuller lives in their communities.

Lance Waters is proud to have accomplished his dream of living in his own home. This video provides a glimpse into his new home and what he’s doing to make things happen in his life.

What does the research tell us?
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Health Resources and Services Administration’s report, Changes in prevalence of parent-reported Autism Spectrum Disorder in school-aged U.S. children: 2007 to 2011-2012
describes that more and more parents are reporting ASD symptoms to clinicians, which helps bring autism out of the shadows.

Take a few minutes today to reflect on what you are proud of in your life. And don’t be shy – share your story with someone else. Not only will you feel good, so will they, just like I feel about my cousin Therese.

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