"My son, Riley, is seven years old. He has blond hair, big hazel eyes and the most adorable smile. He loves cats, video games, and pizza. Looking at Riley you would never know that he has a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD). PDD is on the Autism spectrum. This disorder affects every aspect of Rileyâ€™s lifeâ€¦and the lives of everyone around him. As a family, we have come a long way in accepting and understanding this disorder since Rileyâ€™s diagnosis last August. But, Riley has a long way to go. Riley is currently not in school. Heâ€™s been working with a special education tutor at home since October 1, 2011 and heâ€™s making great progress academically. Despite all of his intelligence and a near-genius IQ, Riley still cannot interact appropriately with others. He has difficulty in social settings and he cannot express his discomfort verbally. It is not uncommon for him to communicate his fear, frustration, or sadness by hiding in a closet or under a table in a fetal position, making unintelligible sounds, or acting out aggressively and physically. He has trouble processing the world around him and his many sensory issues prevent him enjoying the things that we all take for granted. He has few friends. Even with his limitations, Riley is remarkably thoughtful and generous. When he has money to spend, he will always pick out a little something for himself and something for each of his brothers. He does this without any prompting or guidance from us. In addition, he has a wonderful sense of humor and he enjoys witty puns.
As a family, we have decided to make an effort to increase autism awareness. This year I have organized a team, â€œRyâ€™s Guysâ€, for the 2012 Greater Hartford Walk Now for Autism Speaks. The Walk will be held at Renschler Field in East Hartford on June 3, 2012. There are many ways that you can help our cause. You can choose to sponsor us in the event with a tax deductible donation or you can walk with us. The proceeds of the Walk will be used to support the efforts of Autism Speaks. Autism Speaks is the largest non-governmental supporter of autism research in the United States. If you are interested in finding out more about them, please check out their website www.autismspeaks.org. Please help us raise money for this extremely important cause by increasing awareness among your friends and coworkers. We realize that there are many charities that vie for your attention, but any contribution, large or small, will be greatly appreciated.
As always, thank you for your consideration, support and prayers. It means more to us than we could possibly express. We look forward to hearing from you!
Tracy, John, JT, Riley, and Connor Dickson
- Ry's Guys (Nov 20, 2012)