APRIL IS AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH
Robyn K. Schneider’s book, “Silent Running: Our Family’s Journey To The Finish Line With Autism” was released in 2015. According to the book’s jacket, the cover of which shows them wearing their BOSTON MARATHON FINISHER MEDALS, it “is the story of how running saved their lives”. Robyn’s and husband Allan’s identical twin boys had been diagnosed with autism at the age of 21 months in 1992. Eventually they would be told it was severe; the boys could not verbalize their thoughts or feelings. The book tells the story of the parents’ personal struggles, and of their efforts to assemble and coordinate teams of helping therapists and other caring people who would attempt to analyze and modify the behavior of their sons, around the clock. Not for a cure, they eventually learned, but for survival. It was a time when advocacy for this condition was non-existent or at best in it’s infancy.
I started reading, thinking I would have an idea of the challenges they all faced, as a medical professional. I was so wrong. This story is not a fairy tale, so it has a reality ending. It demonstrates how running allowed this emotionally and physically stretched family to enjoy togetherness and normality, through racing together. I was struck by how much time and resources these parents expended in registering and getting their sons to various organized races, in addition to the effort they made to find dedicated and skilled coaches to train and race with their twins. Not all families dealing with autism have such resources or flexible time. I think EarnedRuns bibs and support might help families.
See www.autismrunners.com for their story; www.charitynavigator.com has ratings on charitable organizations; search for “autism” to donate.
2015 Boston Marathon: https://www.boston.com/sports/boston-marathon/2015/04/19/autistic-twins-to-run-boston-marathon-once-again
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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