Center for Autism Provides Essential Services in Newark
Steve Adubato and Chief Executive Officer of The North Ward Center, Michele Adubato, discuss the lack of services for those with autism, especially in urban areas, and the plan to open an innovative facility to serve them in Newark, New Jersey.
"Hi I'm Steve Adubato. We're coming to you from the North Ward center in Newark, New Jersey. It is my pleasure to introduce Michele Adubato, Chief Executive Officer, here at the North Ward center, my younger sister by... Much - many years. Leave it alone. So why don't we do this... Let's talk autism, but we're also here to do a series... a forum on urban education, the future of urban education, but since my sister Michele has dedicated much of her life, not only to this city - as a principal of a school that deals with a whole range of challenging issues - but to autism. What is autism, and why do you care so much? Well, autism is a neurological disorder that affects almost every aspect of life - including speech and language and social skills, and it's just a spect... and it's also across a spectrum and when you said that I dedicated my life to autism, I think the people who dedicate their lives are the parents. What do they face? They face something that is probably one of the most... it has to be the scariest thing for a parent... that your child is born, and he's beautiful, and everything's okay, and then about 18 months, maybe, something changes. As a parent, it's the scariest thing in the world. You know, that being said, you know I've spoken to hundreds of parents, and we want to advocate for autism, but we have to be realistic and how that affects a family. What do you mean? Break it down. It affects the entire family. Autism is not just about a person, it's about the mom, the dad, the siblings, and it also affects how the community deals and works with autism, and people with autism. How do we do right now? How are we doing? We don't do well with differences... and you and I have spoken about this... like, we see somebody different and we automatically put our defenses up. And I think that you know, when we talk about what it means to have a child with autism, I think about leveling the playing field. So, it's hard enough, because, again, it's lifelong, and there's... of course there's many things that can be done that could create a situation. Where... There's not a cure? There's no cure for autism, because autism is who a person is and what I mean by that is because I've known several... you know, hundred individuals... they're individuals. They're different. And they're different in ways that are not the stereotypical ways that we hear. But then I think about the families in Newark, New Jersey, because that's who..."