TORONTO June 10th. The sixth post in our “Road to #STWM” blog series comes from Digital Champion Christa Davidson. STWM will be Christa’s first marathon and she’s running to support the Asperger’s Society of Ontario in the charity challenge. Connect with Christa on Twitter and get to know her and our other Digital Champions via our Epilogger SOCIAL HUB.
Why I’m Running for the Asperger’s Society of Ontario. By Christa Davidson
Six weeks ago my nine year old daughter Tilley was diagnosed with high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder. For years my husband and I knew our daughter was different than her peers, but there always seemed to be an excuse as to why. From a young age we recognized that intellectually, Tilley was more advanced than those her age, but she struggled with social norms. In Kindergarten, she could read and spell better than children three grades ahead of her, but couldn’t handle waiting her turn to play. She could work numbers as well as kids much older than her, but had a meltdown if her pencil broke.
Our home was filled with unhappiness and frustration as we tried to move from one day to the next, hoping to avoid anything that might upset Tilley. One morning a drop of apple juice spilled on her clothes and caused her to rip her clothes off and begin rolling on the floor crying, just as we were trying to get out the door. When incidents like this happened, it could take up to 30 minutes to get Tilley to calm down. Most times once she “snapped out of it”, she behaved as if nothing had happened.
When Tilley was diagnosed with high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder, we were not surprised. We had exhausted every possibility for her “quirky” behaviours, ranging from “she’s gifted” to “she’s spoiled” to “she’s a perfectionist.” The diagnosis was actually a relief because we had a direction to move in to try and help our family heal.
In the first few days after the diagnosis, we began to see that there are many agencies and organizations available to help my daughter. This is why I have chose to fundraise on behalf of the Asperger’s Society of Ontario this year at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.
STWM is one of the Asperger Society of Ontario’s biggest opportunities to raise funds to help provide educational information and support to individuals with Asperger’s and their families and caregivers. I have found running is a great way to fundraise as most people are willing to donate as long as you don’t ask them to join you at the start line! I often hear: “Take my money; just don’t ask me to run!”
I am so excited to be tackling my first marathon this October at STWM and to be aligned with the Asperger’s Society of Ontario. You can follow my journey on my personal fundraising page and on my blog. Connect with me on twitter @christadavidson if you’d like to talk more about running for The Asperger’s Society of Ontario.