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by Pat Long

Advisory Board
The Story Behind
   the Logo

In 1989 my son, Edwin, was aging out of preschool. He attended Just Kids for 2 years. I brought him there because he had language issues and severe behavioral problems. He screeched all the time, lined up his toys, his socialization skills were non-existent and he had little to no eye contact. I was told he had some autistic tendencies and a severe language delay. No one ever told me more. When it came time to prepare for kindergarten, the social worker there told me it was time for me to see his file. It was then that I found out that the diagnosis for my son was PDD. I immediately started my search for more information on this subject and found little to nothing.

One day, I was looking through a local free paper and came upon an ad. To my utter surprise, this same article described my son. To a T. Not only did I find a direction but I also found what I needed most - other parents with children like mine. I felt so alone for such a long time and now, I had hope. This small group of parents were running support meetings and providing others with answers. I went to their very next meeting and immediately knew that this was where I was meant to be.

The group was small but growing steadily. I was hooked - I found two wonderful women who have given me information, support and most treasured of all - long, lasting friendship. These women are still involved with the group and are a constant source of inspiration and comfort. Maryann O’Shaughnessy was the president at that time and her son, Michael is represented as the tallest boy in the logo. Phyllis Francois was handling membership and the newsletter at that time and her daughter, Mae, is the girl in the middle. My son Edwin is the smaller boy and they are all shown looking into the sunrise on a brighter future.

I created this logo to symbolize the mission statement of this group. My heart and soul have been invested in reaching out to as many families as we can; having a symbol that portrays a positive image is the most important thing we have in that primary step of connecting with all those families who deal with the challenges of raising a child with ASD.

My purpose in writing this article is to give you, our members, a piece of the history of this really wonderful group.


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