"My son was a recipient of the Jack Ferrigno/Send a Kid to Camp grant, and he will get to spend two weeks at summer camp at the Longmont Humane Society. Because of your grant and the generosity of Chef Brett Smith, my son could immerse himself in something that he loves to do and that makes him feel confident and productive. Because of his Asperger’s, he often feels out of tune with other people, but he always feels in harmony with cats and dogs. Thank you for giving that to him. You are an amazing organization. Thank you for all of your efforts, hard work and kindness."


- M.K.

What is Autism?

Autism is a developmental disability that affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. Sometimes it affects a person’s cognitive abilities, and many report co-morbid medical issues (gastrointestinal symptoms, inflammatory disorders, anxiety, etc.). Autism manifests itself differently in each individual, and while causes are little understood, increased awareness and funding can help families today. In Colorado, nearly 2,500 school-age children have an autism disorder diagnosis, but the overall figures are likely much higher because other related spectrum disorders – like Asperger’s and PDD-NOS – are identified and served under other disability categories.

Currently, the Autism Society of America estimates that the lifetime cost of caring for a child with autism ranges from $3.5 million to $5 million, and that the United States is facing almost $90 billion annually in costs for autism (this figure includes research, insurance costs and non-covered expenses, Medicaid waivers for autism, educational spending, housing, transportation and employment, in addition to related therapeutic services and caregiver costs).