|Dan Olawski delivers keynote address at|
Young Autism Program Charitable Foundation
More used to writing blogs than giving speeches, Dan recently delivered the keynote address at the Young Autism Program Charitable Foundation (YAPCF) of DDI's Annual Dinner/Dance here on Long Island. Reflecting on his experiences as an autism parent and the need for autism education and awareness, Dan spoke to an audience of about 400 parents, teachers, and administrators gathered for the fundraising event.
"I'd never spoken in front of that many people before and was extremely nervous. But I relaxed after I realized how important the topic was to me…and getting my first laugh at one of my jokes didn't hurt either," he said.
The Q Source Resource Blog and QSource.com, his spare time is spent contributing to the Autism Society's blog and his own personal blog where he talks about his experiences and offers his insights on being an autism parent. Dan has had a passion for autism awareness and advocacy ever since his young son with autism was a student in the YAP program.
Autism is a multifaceted developmental disorder that includes impairments in social interaction and developmental language, communication skills, and rigid, repetitive behaviors. Autism includes a wide spectrum of symptoms and levels of impairment. There is currently no cure for autism.
The Young Autism Program (YAP) was created in 1995 as an experimental program with the goal of returning autistic children to regular kindergarten by age six. It is one of the most intensive programs of its kind in the U.S. The YAP Charitable Foundation was formed by YAP parents in 1999 to privately raise funds to supplement the unique educational needs of children enrolled in the Young Autism Program. The Annual Dinner/Dance is their largest fundraising event of the year. Previous Dinner/Dance guest speakers have included state and local representatives, researchers, and other autism parents.
"Being asked to speak at the YAP Dinner/Dance was an incredible honor," Dan said. "Many parents of autistic children go through similar experiences as I have and to see the audience's reactions to my speech was very touching and one of the most incredible and inspirational feelings I've ever had."
Everyone at Q Source would like to congratulate Dan for being asked to deliver the keynote at this important event. We're all very proud of your hard work and devotion to this very important subject. Keep up the inspiring work!