It all started with a pair of socks.
Noah Price, 16, a runner on the track team at NorthWood High School, noticed when teammates and others donned pink apparel for breast cancer awareness.
“What about autism?” he wondered. “Who’s promoting autism awareness?”
Noah cares about autism because his family deals with it every day. Noah’s younger brother, David, 15, was diagnosed with autism when he was 3. Ever since, the family has surrounded David with love, support and encouragement to make sure he reaches his full potential. The encouragement goes both ways. David cheers for Noah when Noah runs track and has gotten to know all his teammates. The brothers share a deep bond.
So Noah embarked on a quest to raise awareness for autism, his brother and the challenges families like theirs face. He researched online and found a pair of colorful socks depicting the puzzle pieces symbolic for autism. He wore them to his next track meet, and all his teammates wanted a pair. Then their friends wanted to buy and wear the socks. And family members. And community fans. Noah had opened a door of awareness.
To keep the momentum going, he took on a bigger challenge. He talked with his parents, Diane and Ray, and got their support to put on David’s Run for Autism. What started as a simple plan turned quickly into a community movement. Word spread about David’s Run for Autism. Noah received invitations to speak to service clubs in Nappanee and to ADEC’s Board of Directors. He lined up sponsors and vendors. He talked to Viv Blakeslee and Michele McGuin of ADEC Family Services about making David’s Run the agency’s annual Light the Way for Autism Awareness event. They didn’t need much convincing.
All the planning came together, and on May 2, just two weeks away, David’s Run gets under way at McCormick Creek Golf Course in Nappanee. About 500 participants are expected to walk or run a 3K or 5K distance. ADEC will be there to share information about autism.
David’s recreational therapist from ADEC, Samantha Resendez, will run with the family. She coached David for his first 5K, a color run in South Bend back in 2012 and has been running with him and the family ever since.
Noah and his parents didn’t expect the event to take off the way it did. Noah’s Facebook page, Autism Through a Brother’s Eyes with David Price, gave him a forum for telling David’s story and updating fans about David’s Run.
Noah embarked on a quest and he achieved what he set out to do. He got people talking about autism. In two weeks they’ll be running for autism – with him and with David.
Noah’s first Facebook post | October 2014
Hi, my name is Noah. My brother David, was diagnosed with Severe Autism at the age of 3. He also has a communication disorder. Up until a few years ago, we were unable to talk and share stories, like brothers do. It would frustrate David when he was unable to communicate. This would cause meltdowns. He has made great strides with the help of early intervention, and many caring people. In the days to follow, I will share stories of our childhood and the stress and chaos it caused for all of us. Even though it wasn’t a “typical” lifestyle, the struggles have strengthened our family’s bond.
With this page, I want to spread Autism Awareness. One in 68 U.S. children has an autism spectrum disorder, a 30% increase from 1 in 88 two years ago. I will post facts, pictures and share with you my life with David.
I am currently working on a huge project for May of 2015. I hope that you will join me then to raise awareness. Until then, please enjoy my posts and I welcome feedback.