It’s too hot to blog lately, so everyone please stay cool and hydrated. I am taking a little break from WordPress until after Labor Day. If you would like to be a guest blogger, please contact me; I’d love to have you aboard.
Please continue to spread the word about Autism Awareness and Advocacy, enjoy the posts in the Archive and don’t forget to visit the Facebook page for Beyond Autism Awareness.
Muscle-bound Jack Spadaro will once again battle the trenches of the East River to raise funds for autism.
Battling the trenches of the East River, the big-hearted neighborhood activist will don his swim skivvies July 15 for the Brooklyn Bridge 1K Swim Event. Spadaro, 49, is teaming up with Hempstead, Long Island’s Doug “Iron Man” Rebecca to form Team Block Swim in support of the Block Institute’s efforts in continuing to provide quality services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Battling the trenches of the East River, the two iron men — joining scores of other swimmers from across the tri-state area — will begin their journey at Pebble Beach in Brooklyn, swim towards the Brooklyn Bridge, continue their course underneath the bridge, and then finally cross the East River to the dry land of Manhattan. A combination of buoys, support boats, and kayaks will mark/monitor the swim route to help swimmers remain on course.
The Brooklyn Bridge Swim, an annual event organized by the non-profit Bridge to Youth, serves the special needs children and their parents with programs and activities to raise awareness, offer support and build self-esteem.
Spadaro, a St. Mark School alum, also volunteers with Bay Improvement Group, Foundation for Children with Special Needs, the American Cancer Society and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. He is hoping to inspire others to help support the Block Institute’s mission in assisting individuals with special needs.
The Amazin’s posed the question to their fans in an email survey Wednesday: “The Mets are considering adding a designated ‘quiet’ seating section with lower volume PA announcements and no music or cheerleading. How likely would you be to purchase tickets in that section?”
It “would apply to a section in the second-deck, left-field seats,” which sell for between $20 and $78 apiece under the team’s dynamic pricing plan, according to the New York Post. The paper quoted a few Mets fans who panned the concept, calling it “stupid,” “boring” and “just not baseball.”
But there’s more to the story.
The idea is to make Citi Field more welcoming to families with autistic children, the Mets told WFAN’s Boomer & Carton.
WEB EXTRA: Guide to Citi Field
The franchise wanted to know if the interest in such sections extended beyond their autism awareness days, morning show co-host Craig Carton said Thursday morning. The Mets held their 10th annual Autism Awareness Day on May 6, a 3-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
“If that’s the sole reason you’re considering it, well, bravo!” said Carton. “You want to allow all kids … to enjoy a baseball game. So why not just say that?”
When asked about “quiet” sections on Twitter, one fan responded, “I think giving the parents of kids with autism a chance to see a ball game without having major issues is exceptionally noble.”
- A Home Run for Autism at Citi Field, New York (theepochtimes.com)
- “Quiet please, the Mets are trying to play baseball.” (freethoughtblogs.com)
FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks
Watch as Denny Hamlin driver of No. 11 FedEx Toyota, and David Gilliland in the No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford help raise awareness by featuring special Autism Speaks puzzle piece paints schemes. Driver and autism advocate Jamie McMurray will be racing the No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Allstate car and his public service announcement for Autism Speaks will be shown throughout the weekend.
This year’s race also features “Autism Speaks Day at the Races” – the first-ever autism friendly viewing experience for NASCAR fans. Families will get to experience the race in an environment specifically designed for the enjoyment of children with autism. A very special thanks to Autism Speaks Board Members Artie Kempner and Michael Glenn for – once again – making Autism Speaks a part of this year’s race!
I find this utterly disturbing; obviously I don’t have all the facts about this case but the depiction of her ‘not wanting to burden her husband with a baby inflicted with autism’ and having a history of working with Autistic children at the Children’s Hospital is conflicting to say the least. I am leaning toward the description of her as a narcissistic woman more afraid of her infant’s effect on her emotional and financial status than her child’s potential to grow and blossom in a caring home. Is this the Spectrum’s version of Casey Anthony, as some of the article’s comments suggest? Time will tell. I also find it odd that the story does not attribute any quotes to her husband/infant’s father. One of the ‘themes’ of Autism Awareness campaigns is that Autism is not, and should not be a ‘death sentence’; clearly this counselor and mother never got this message. -Ed
Stephanie Rochester, Colo. Mother Accused Of Smothering Her Baby For Having Autism, Will Not Face Murder Charges
Stephanie Rochester, a 35-year-old Superior, Colo. mother accused of smothering her 6-month-old son because she believed he had autism, will not face first-degree murder and child abuse charges, The Denver Post reports.
Stan Garnett, Boulder County District Attorney, says that he does not think prosecutors would be able to prove that she was sane at the time of the 2010 killing.
Rochester had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, Fox31 reports, and her mental health had been evaluated by two separate doctors. However, last month prosecutors had asked the Colorado Supreme Court to consider allowing a third evaluation from their own medical expert, but the court blocked the additional review.
According to The Daily Camera, Stephanie Rochester has been found not guilty by reason of insanity, Wednesday. The decision was made after more than an hour of testimony from a psychiatrist that said Rochester saw her son as an “alien, toxic, contaminated being.” The psychiatrist also told the Boulder County district judge that Rochester suffered from major depression with psychotic symptoms.
Rochester will be committed to the state mental health hospital until she is determined not to be a danger to herself or others.
According to the arrest warrant, Rochester told police that she thought her 6-month-old son, Rylan Rochester, “was showing signs of autism” so she attempted to suffocate him with a plastic bag before putting blankets over his head the night before he died, 7News reports.
The affidavit went on to state that Rochester wanted to kill herself, but did not want to “burden her husband with a baby inflicted with autism.” For two years Rochester worked as a counselor at the Children’s Hospital and had worked with autistic children.
Rochester told detectives that she thought having an autistic child would emotionally and financially “ruin” her life, according to The Daily Camera.
Attorneys on both the prosecution and defense will now present Rochester’s insanity evidence to a judge to see if she should be committed to the state mental hospital.
WATCH [via 9News] report when Rochester was first set to appear in court in 2010:
Click this link to view the video: http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1