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You Are My Star!

Joanna McGowan

At least 1 in 110 American children have been identified as on the autism spectrum; ASD affects an estimated 3 million people in the U.S. and tens of millions more worldwide. Despite the drastic increase in the number of children identified each year, we still know little about the cause of autism and many people remain unsure of what it means to be a person on the spectrum. This is why research efforts in conjunction with advocacy and education about this disorder are so important.

One way to support these efforts and share a gift with your children is a book I am happy to get to share with you, and one of my favorite books this year: You Are My Star. Local mom and member of Talk About Curing Autism (TACA), Joanna McGowan, has put together a beautiful children’s book that is a lovely present for all children, whether special needs or not. The illustrations in the book were all drawn by children affected by autism. In addition, the book’s proceeds benefit TACA, which is a national non-profit dedicated to educating, empowering, and supporting families affected by autism. In speaking about the book, Joanna shared, “…Children with special needs often work much harder and have greater challenges than their typical peers and this book is meant to acknowledge them and celebrate their accomplishments. The story is meant to convey love and acceptance for the child as well as a belief in hope for the future.” To purchase the book or for more information, click here.

Melissa Bilash is a dedicated education advocate and the 2010 Mom Congress Delegate from Pennsylvania.This piece was originally posted on October 10th, 2011 on her Advocay & Consulting for Education website.