In 2010 I was recovering from an injury, but I had signed up so I decided to stick to the plan and run. I had no idea what NFAR was about, I just knew that they were holding a 5K race to benefit Autism Research and that I wanted to help in any way I could. So I got up that morning alone, and headed to Balboa Park. I was very surprised by the turnout but not happy with my run. The booths had great information and it was a festive atmosphere. Shortly after that race NFAR contacted me by email about an Autism Men’s Group they were starting. I was a single parent of a child with Autism and decided it would be great to get together with some other dads. By attending these meetings I’ve learned a lot more about NFAR. I’ve also learned a lot more about dealing with Autism through the guest speakers they have invited to speak to the group and I’ve met a lot of other Dads of kids with Autism. I hate it when I miss this monthly meeting!
In 2011, my older son, his girlfriend, and her boss joined me for the run. I ran a lot better with my son there to “compete” with, although I think he took it easy to stay with me. In 2012 my girlfriend and a group of her friends joined in (see the picture above) and we had the beginnings of a team. This year my younger son Sean will be running with us. At a school conference last year the PE teacher complimented Sean on his running, and so I took him out on a few runs. I think he will be taking it easy on both me and his older brother this year! We expect an even better turnout this year. My wife has committed to running the 5K with us (rather than doing the 5K walk, or the 1 mile fun run). Sean’s brother (his wife) and sisters will likely join in too. We are also hoping to expand the group of friends and make a real party of it. I’m looking forward to not only the run, but having a get together afterward at our house.
NFAR has been a great resource for me over the last 3 years and I hope they have a great turnout for the race. NFAR awards grant funding to San Diego educators to help provide for the specialized educational needs of their students with autism. So the money raised in San Diego stays here. Teachers have made a huge difference in Sean’s life, and have worked hard with him to help overcome the challenges he faces. Anything we can do to help teachers to provide effective education, something proven to help these kids and young adults, is a very worthwhile way to spend a Saturday morning!
<Strong)Update 30 March 2013: We had a great time at the Race for Autism. Five of us ran the 5K and we got a few photos of the event!
Me and my sons at the finish looking strong.
My Daughter an her boyfriend finishing strong.
Almost the whole team… we had some schedule glitches and some late additions, but here we are: