I am participating in the virtual Rodman Ride for Kids to support the Asperger/Autism Network (AANE)—a nonprofit with a mission to help people with Asperger's and similar neurodiverse profiles build meaningful, connected lives. Neurodiversity is a concept that honors the natural variation in how people perceive, sense, and relate to the world around them. Because we live in a world built for the neurotypical experience, those who lie outside of the norm (including people diagnosed with Asperger's, autism, ADHD, or dyslexia) face profound struggles as they try to find their way in life—building careers, establishing community, and/or growing meaningful relationships, often facing extreme anxiety and depression. Due to the stressors of the pandemic, many of these people are struggling more than ever. 

AANE is working harder than ever to make sure that those who need support the most have help during these unprecedented times, and always. They are offering reduced cost and free programs, including online support groups. (I will be leading a support group for young women this summer and fall.) They are delving deep into the intersection between race and autism, to further examine and address disparities in diagnosis and access to support. And, they are planning sustained efforts to ensure that equity and inclusion remain part of the fabric of AANE's programming and structure. 

Because this year's Ride is a virtual event, I have decided to "Choose My Own Adventure" and plan to ride a total of 30 miles—to Walden Pond and back—on September 26. Your donation of any amount will help me reach my fundraising goal of $500. 

100% of the funds that I raise will directly support AANE’s life-changing programs and services. Please know how much your support means to me and the thousands of individuals and families AANE serves each year.