Why You Should Join Us at Fashion Rocks Autism 2019!

November 01, 2019

By SafeMinds Board Member Katie Wright

Please join me at SafeMinds’ Fashion Rocks Autism on November 8th! I promise you will have a great time! You’ll be with people with autism, parents of people with autism, families, friends, elected officials, pageant queens (no joke!), and listen to amazing live music. If you are able, please join us in Hunt Valley, Md. on November 8th from 7-11 p.m. at the Delta by Marriott Baltimore Hunt Valley Hotel.

Tickets are affordable, too! General admission tickets are only $25, and VIP tickets are $125—and you can buy them online. Even if you can’t attend, you can also donate tickets so that someone from the local disability community who may not otherwise be able to enjoy the show can have some fun!

I am so proud to be a SafeMinds board member. When my son experienced an alarming regression, leaving him autistic and chronically ill, no doctors understood what was happening, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) offered no insight or assistance. The SafeMinds website, however, listed dozens of research studies on regressive autism, helping me understand what was happening to my son. I was so relieved to see all the articles on battling chronic illness, and a list of experts to call. Until that moment, the only treatment our pediatrician offered was Xanax – for me!

SafeMinds is special. It is a lean and hyper-productive organization. Every penny you donate will be carefully spent. There are no multiple-six figure salaries at SafeMinds, no expensive office space, and we rely on the time and talents of many volunteers to help us—it’s basically no nonsense.

SafeMinds’ executive director is my hero, autism mom Lisa Wiederlight. If Lisa were paid by the hour, she just might be earning minimum wage. Lisa doesn’t travel the country talking the talk and glad-handing like certain people I’ve met and have seen online from a couple of Federal agencies. Instead, Lisa is in her home office or on Capitol Hill, getting actual stuff done.

Thanks to Lisa, SafeMinds helped make $1 million available from the Federal Government to train law enforcement to prevent and address wandering in children with developmental disabilities, including autism. Kevin and Avonte’s law, which provides children who are repeat wanderers access to free, voluntary, and non-permanent tracking devices, would NEVER have passed without the persistence of SafeMinds’ Lisa Wiederlight. U.S. Senator Grassley even mentioned SafeMinds and Lisa on the floor of the U.S. Senate in his remarks about the bill passing through Congress!

SafeMinds has publicized the previously-ignored voices of thousands of autism families in powerful ways. Recently, SafeMinds conducted the first survey of autism stakeholders regarding their opinions of the NIH’s response to autism. The results, shared with the NIH and many in Washington, DC, were an urgent call to action to fund desperately-needed treatment research for intractable epilepsy (a life and death issue), chronic gastrointestinal disease, autoimmune disorders, and mental health issues. We know addressing autism is hard, but we also know we can do so much more together! We CAN make life better for people living with autism NOW.

Unlike other organizations, SafeMinds doesn’t waste time or money debating whether or not there is a true increase in the number of people with autism. Online and in person, SafeMinds boldly states that “Autism is an urgent crisis and a national emergency!”

Please join us at Fashion Rocks Autism to support SafeMinds, and have a great night out.

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