Gamehaven Merit Badge Fair
Just like Miss America is more than a beauty pageant, Boy Scouts is about much more than building campfires and learning to tie knots. Both programs strive to help young men and women become leaders in their communities. They encourage discipline, hard work, skill development, and service to others.
What those 800 boys at the Gamehaven Merit Badge Fair have gained through their involvement in Boy Scouts, my brother---as an individual with Asperger's Syndrome---has gained tenfold. Trevor's involvement with Boy Scouts changed his life. He learned social skills, made friends, set and accomplished goals; he learned life skills that will help him become successful in his chosen career. Boy Scouts taught Trevor the importance of diligence and hard work. Despite his challenges, Trevor graduated in the top 50% of his high school class with a 3.7 GPA. He is now a student at St. Cloud State University. He was on the speech team in high school, he plays piano, and he is now working to reach his dream of becoming a best selling children's book author. The first book from his series, The Adventures of Charley McChooChoo, will be available for sale very soon. But amongst all of Trevor's accomplishments, he is most proud of his Eagle Scout title. I love the Boy Scouts of America because its purpose is to help EVERYONE, regardless of race, religion or disability, become contributing members of society.
I encourage everyone who is not currently involved in Boy Scouts to get involved, and everyone who is currently a Boy Scout to strive for that Eagle Scout ranking. With that title comes respect, privilege, and a voice with which to be a change agent in your community. That title will follow you for the rest of your life. You will rise to the top of every pile of college applications; You will impress potential employers; You will stand out as a leader in your community.
I was talking with Trevor one day about his experience becoming an Eagle Scout, and he said to me, "I think more Boy Scouts need to get their Eagle Scout. 4% is just too low of a number." Trevor never ceases to amaze me; he makes me so proud. Trevor hopes to be a role model for other kids in Boy Scouts. I hope they are as inspired by him as I am.
The HopeFULL Company and Autism Radio
Whether you make the HopeFULL recipes yourself and deliver them, or have your HopeFULL Gift Pack shipped to your loved one as a gift, it will be a simple act of kindness that will make a world of difference to the person you care about.
The BellyFULL Kit makes it easy to introduce whole foods to young children in an adventurous, playful way - through frozen food pops! BellyFULLs make eating whole foods fun for kids, and preparing them together can create memories which will last a lifetime.
If you or someone you know is experiencing the following, HopeFULL recipes may be perfect for you. (FYI - both HopeFULL and BellyFULL recipes can be eaten frozen on a stick, fresh from the blender as a smoothie or warmed as a soup);
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Parent of a picky eater
Prescribed a liquid diet
Cancer and cancer treatments
Tonsillectomy or Adenoidectomy
Gastric Bypass Surgery
Disorders of the mouth, throat or tongue
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Need an idea for a healthy snack
Looking for a sport recovery snack
Want a family-friendly summer activity
Click here to see how The HopeFULL Company has helped one Minnesota child with Neuroblastoma.
St. Paul Music Academy
Lunch at the Governor's Mansion
Below is a list of attendees and the agenda that Sherrie Kenny, the CEO of the Autism Society of Minnesota, and I drafted for the meeting:
- Natalie Davis, Miss Minnesota 2011
- Barb Gehlen, former Business Manager for the Miss Minnesota Organization
- Sherrie Kenny, CEO of the Autism Society of Minnesota
- Governor Mark Dayton
- Michele Kelm Helgen, Governor Dayton’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Legislative Affairs
- Dan Pollock, Governor Dayton’s health care policy advisor
- Deputy Commissioner Anne Barry, Department of Health
- Commissioner Edward Ehlinger, M.D., MSPH, Department of Health
- Senator Carla Nelson
- Representative Kim Norton
- ASD is the number one growing disability in the state of Minnesota
- 14,000 Minnesota families are affected (does not include home school or adults)
- 1 in 67 children in the public schools
- Age 8 is the largest bubble diagnosed; In a short 10 years they will need employment
- Today only 8% are employed part time and 3% are employed fulltime
- National numbers:
• 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with ASD
• NEW STATISTIC: 1 in 88 children have been diagnosed with ASD (1 year ago, it was 1 in 110; 2 years ago it was 1 in 150)
- Minnesota has an Autism Spectrum Disorder Task Force
- Minnesota mandates ASD licensure for educators
- Early diagnosis and interventions can reduce lifelong costs for care
- Funding cuts impact diagnosis, intervention and treatments
- Development and training of our educators and professionals are impacted with funding cuts
- Employer Engagement is a must through education/awareness
- Life-long supports (insurance, housing, employment) for people with ASD
- Lack of funding to educate and provide supports to diverse populations
- Lack of resources to meet the communities outside the metro areas
- Early diagnosis and intervention
a. Autism Insurance Reform to ensure access to all intervention therapies and treatments
b. Continued financial support for special education departments
c. Outreach programs and funding to reach the Somali, Latino and Hmong communities
d. Outreach programs and funding for communities outside the metropolitan area
- Transitional support from high school age to adulthood. We must provide opportunities for individuals with ASD to be gainfully employed. Employer Awareness Programs.
- Adult services that allow more choices regarding where people with ASD live, work, and on for higher education.