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Thank You to Our 2014 Edge of Autism Sponsors!

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This year’s 2014 Edge of Autism event was a smashing success in no small part to all our wonderful donors out there! The Lancaster County community and those involved in autism around the country came together to help over 650 individuals and families affected by autism have a nearly perfect day! We thank each and every one of them, and hope you’ll join us in counting to support them in their businesses so we can continue to support each other as well.

Thank you!

$1000 or More – Infinitely Awesome Sponsor
(in alphabetical order)

Age of Autism

Clark and Associates

Lancaster Toyota Mazda Scion

Murry Family


Tobias Frogg


$500 or More – Acceptance Sponsor
(in alphabetical order)

Julie Abel



Lashonda Black

Family Behavioral Resource Services

Diane Hill

Life Changes Realty

Naomi Fredlund


MassMutual Eastern PA (Special Care Planning Team)

MassMutual Eastern PA (Special Care Planning Team)

* plus a number of donors that choose to remain anonymous


$250 or More – Action Sponsor

The Vista School

Therapy Resource Center

National Penn Bank

URS Corporation

JD Pazzo’s Pizza

Donna Frankfort

Lives in Balance Gym

Stauffers of Kissel Hill

Matthew McMahon

Leisa Nelson

Nicole Nikolaus

Patricia Sobaru

PNC Bank, Willowstreet


$100 or More – Awareness Sponsor

Emily and Len Pinder

The Schlamm Family

Refreshingly Clean

Waddell & Reed, Inc.

Spooky Nook Sports

Heather March-Engle and Family

Agape Care

Joe & Shannon Cicero

Dr. Ann Lee, Health for Life Clinic

The Evans Family

Chiropractic 1st

Irv & Danita Martin

Tonya Robinson

Sarah Hurley

Erin Watson

Karen Kerper

Kountry Kraft, Inc.

Mamata Patel

Energy Sherlock

Robert D. Johnson

Behavior Interventions, Inc.

Tangled Manes

Raymond Baldwin

Bill Broam

Chris Broam

Kathleen Byrne

Randy Crispino

Darrenkamp’s Market

Autism Cares Foundation

Weis Grocery Stores

Micheal Gruber

Mary Hershey

Giant Food Stores

Hursh Painting Co, Inc.

John Ibberson

HA Boyd. Inc.

Constance Johnson

Jill Joseph

Rod & Sue Keller

Renee Linney

Carol Lownes

Catherine Mangan

Joan McMahon

William McGrorty

Maria Meliton

Sarah Olsavsky

Dr. Larry Oxenberg

Red Robin, Hershey

Kate Root

Eileen M. Sapovchak

Ralph Scott

Amit Sinha

Robert Smith

Jacquelyn Smith

Lisa Smith

Barbara Stank

Louise Stewart

William Stockwell

Matthew Tyson

Harry Ulrich

Debbie Walmer

Kari Woler

Micah Wyatt

Tommy Foundation Responds to New CDC Autism Numbers

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Autism Rates 1 in 68 USDear Friends,

As many of you probably already know the Center For Disease Control (CDC) made an announcement on Thursday, March 27, 2014 at noon concerning their new estimated rates for the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders in the United States among individuals 21 and under. It was announced at the teleconference that based on their latest study the new rates are 1 in 68 children, 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls. While these numbers show the obvious—that the rates have continued to increase over the years—there are some valuable things we can take away from the conference and would like to invite YOU to help us reach more families and help more individuals in our community. Continue reading →

Spring 2014 TTF Newsletter is Out

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The Tommy Foundation’s Spring 2014 Newsletter is now out and available! Filled with interviews and a schedule of events for Autism Awareness month in 2014, it’s a can’t miss!

Download Newsletter

Featuring Interviews with world-class comic book creators Dave and Angie Knot from Autism Face Value:

Autism at Face Value started as a non-profit business based in York, PA, USA. Founder Dave Kot never imagined how widespread his idea for positive autism awareness would become…by making a comic book. A life-long comic book fan, Dave helped create the first golden-era comic book hero with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). During the “golden-era,” good triumphed over evil with modesty and self-respect. In-and-of itself, the risk to include a character with autism as a main heroic character in a comic book were huge steps towards diversity and public awareness…

Interviews with Naomi Hulst, a leader in the Lancaster County Special Olympics:

When she was 5 years old, my daughter, Haley, would swing so high she’d almost be horizontal and stayed in the swimming pool for 3 hours. At 6 years old, she ran on a balance beam with in a perfect, straight line. At 7 years old, she’d lob a ball directly into the basket. A natural athlete, I thought. But she was diagnosed at 28 months with autism. She was barely verbal, slept only 5 hours a night, and I couldn’t get her to focus or respond to commands…

And all about our upcoming events in April 2014 including the 7th Annual Edge of Autism Festival and Walk and more! Be sure to check it out!


US of Autism Families in the News

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Sam WesselsThings have been progressing beyond our expectations with the theatrical release of The United States of Autism film.  We had projected that we would screen the film in about 40 cities and we are well on our way to 60 already! Many of the 20 families and individuals whose views are reflected in the film have been really involved getting the word out about their participation in the project as well as sharing with the world, how living with autism has affected their lives.  To that end, we wanted to share some of the major news pieces that have appeared in the last few 2 months that include 2 stories in major National Media networks.  Continue reading →

Giving Siblings the Attention They Need

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reillysLinda Reilly is a proud Army wife and part of OAR’s RUN FOR AUTISM team. She has run several races with OAR, including the Philadelphia Marathon. Her husband, Major Shane Reilly, and their two children, Charlotte, 8, and Alexander, 5, have also participated in the RUN FOR AUTISM. Alexander is on the autism spectrum. The family lives in Carlisle, Pa.

When my son, Alexander, was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2, my husband, Shane, and I knew things would be different with our family. We had to dedicate our time to helping him overcome this new challenge while still giving his older sister, Charlotte, the attention and support that she needed.

Many families who are raising a child with special needs with typically developing siblings face this dilemma. Together, our family discovered several ways to make both our kids feels special. I hope these suggestions will help you too.  Continue reading →

5 Lessons from Assistive Communication Devices

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Caden2Hi. My name is Lisa. I have an 8 year old son with autism. He has also been diagnosed with a moderate intellectual disability, hydrocephalus and mild cerebral palsy. He is non-verbal and on developmental scales/tests functions no higher than a 2 year old, and that is in the area of gross motor. I was asked to write about his experience with use of a speech generating device and my experience as his mom in getting him what he needed. I’m writing as a mom. I am not a Speech Language Pathologist, but feel our experience can be helpful to others or at least encourage them to think about use of a speech generating device for their child.

I am passionate about my son’s communication. What parent of a non-verbal child wouldn’t be?! We’ve tried everything to help him, from a very early age. One problem with my son is he does not imitate, so sign language didn’t work. We tried PECS (picture exchange communication system), but he was never better than 50% accurate. We worked on that for years!! They tried some speech generating (communication devices) at school, but it felt as if we were always held up by his difficulty with picture discrimination and the thought that without that skill, he did not have the ability to learn to use the device. So what worked and lessons I’ve learned: Continue reading →