As of 2014, the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) affects 1:68 children in the United States. Autism is a complex neurological disorder that affects normal brain functioning during the first few years of life, and is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. ASD is characterized by difficulties in socialization, communication (both verbal and non-verbal), repetitive behaviors, and sensory disorders. Autism affects each child on varying levels, and no two individuals with Autism have the same symptoms. It is well known now that children with ASD benefit greatly from early intervention and integration, giving them the ability to make marked increases in their abilities to communicate and socially interact.
Through our own personal experiences, it is with an open heart and an open mind that that we have begun our journey towards cultivating a community of understanding for children with Autism and related disabilities. Our mission is to use education, sports, and the arts as avenues to enrich the lives of and bridge the gap between children with ASD, their families and the world in which we live. Our vision: The Parker Foundation will partner with individuals, businesses and organizations in our community that embrace and realize the potential of children with ASD and related disabilities while recognizing their specific needs, and by doing so we will provide the loving support and opportunities to these children and their families in a welcoming, non-judgmental environment.
We actively partner with local individuals, businesses and organizations that will provide their services, facilities and/or expertise to assist us in implementing these programs. Listed below is a short explanation of what we offer:
We have begun expanding our outreach on a National and International level, understanding that Autism is a global issue with statistics proving that diagnoses are on the rise. Through our own efforts and by partnering with our State and National affiliates, our goal is to educate and inspire other communities to step up and increase support and resources in their area. We also hope to shine a light on Autism efforts in developing countries, sharing their triumphant stories, to help bring support to their programs so that they too can thrive.
Through our own journey, we have come across many open, loving individuals and organizations that have used their time and talents to help integrate these children and to educate their families and the community. Our dream is to open the doors to these opportunities on a larger scale, without these families having to struggle to find the finances or loving places that understand their needs. We would be thrilled to partner with your organization to donate your time and talents to help us hope, believe and achieve!
Ted and Melissa Parker