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From Conor's Dad: (2007)
Our fourth (4th) son Conor, just eight (8) years old this past
October, attends the Ascent School for Autism on Long Island, and
in the short time he has been there, Conor's miraculous progress
has given our family hope and confidence where at one time there
was little or none.
On his second birthday, Conor was diagnosed with autism, and at
that time Conor did not point, speak, play, look you in the eye or
have virtually any interaction with our family and others around
him. Today, with the help of Ascent and its great therapists-not to
mention my wife Joy, Conor's brothers Sean, Ryan and Kyle and his
after school home therapists-he now speaks, plays with the family
and most of all is an integral part of our everyday life. He speaks
beautifully, “surfs” and plays games on the internet, goes to the
playground, rides a bicycle, has mastered Gameboy, plays with his
brothers, reads beyond grade level and more incredibly, beginning in November of 2007, with an Ascent aide at his side, Conor will be attending the same elementary school our 3 older sons graduated from on a full time basis!
Ascent has also helped Conor with some of his other behavioral
skills, enabling him to come with us wherever we go, including an
recent trip overseas. Remarkably, it wasn't that long ago we
could even consider taking Conor with us to run simple errands.
Although Conor has autism and on a daily basis will continue to face
challenges we wish were not before him, the adjective to best
describe him is HAPPY…a truly incredible feeling given the
circumstances! Nonetheless, a long road lies ahead for Conor, but
we are fully confident with the help of Ascent he can reach his full
If you are a student, you can make a difference by volunteering for the Ascent Youth Alliance to Battle Autism (AYABA) Program. Notwithstanding the fact that it will take up very little of your time-your efforts will play an integral part in making a difference for kids with autism and other disabilities. At the very least, changing the mindset about people with disabilities, promoting volunteerism and giving back will be but a few of the consequential benefits of your volunteerism and the documentary.
A sample of the letter we will conform for you-to bring to your principal, dean, school administrator and/or teacher along with a DVD of the film-appears below along with a copy of the poster and DVD jacket for the film.
Click here to get involved!
View Student Volunteer Letter
“Shot Heard Round The World”, “The Catch”, Adrian Greiner, Babe Ruth, Baseball Hall of Fame, Ben Stiller, Bob Feller, Bobby Thompson, Brittany Murphy, Cy Young, Darryl Strawberry, Dave Winfield, Don Mattingly, Duke Snider, Baseball Cards, Frank Robinson, George Clooney, Hank Aaron, Jackie Robinson, James Gandolfini, Jeremy Piven, Jimmie Johnson, Joe Dimaggio, Joe Namath, Johnny Knoxville, Keifer Sutherland, Lawrence Taylor, Magic Johnson, Mariah Carey, Mathias Ringstrom, Mike Schmidt, Nolan Ryan, Pete Rose, Peyton Manning, Phil Simms, Ralph Branca, Reggie Jackson, Rick Dipietro, Roger Clemens, Stan “The Man” Musial, The Rock, Tom Seaver, Trent Hunter, Walt Frazier, Warren Spahn, Whitey Ford, Willie May, Wilt Chamberlin, Yogi Berra and many more!
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We are proud to say that our short documentary "MAKING A DIFFERENCE: The Ascent Youth Alliance to Battle Autism" has been chosen to appear this July in the NY International Independent Film & Video Festival. Please know that AYABA student volunteers have been giving principals, deans, teachers, coaches, community leaders, friends and family in a position to possibly help spread tolerance, awareness and acceptance for children with autism DVDs of the film. We are still looking to recruit additional student volunteers in other towns with the hope they can get their school administrators to show "Making a Difference" in their district in classrooms and/or at an assembly. It is rewarding and easy community service, and comes with a letter acknowledging the volunteer's efforts on behalf of the cause." For those of you on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter, feel free to copy, paste and forward the link to the trailer and the address AYABA's website (www.ayabany.org) to your contacts-it will truly help the cause and make a difference!