Life Center for Autism Foundation

Founders Statement

In 2007, the Center for Disease Control reported that 1 in every 150 (eight year old children) will be diagnosed with autism, making it more common than pediatric cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined. Since there is not a cure, this means that every one of these individuals and their families must live with autism for the rest of their life. 

Our daughter was born in 1996 and diagnosed as being moderately autistic in 2003. She cannot speak, she cannot care for her daily living needs and she does not easily fit into today’s society. What she can do is hum a song to tune, run, laugh and play. She knows what she likes and what she does not like. I strongly believe that she understands much of the world around her but is unable to speak or communicate her thoughts. When she is happy, you know it!

While our daughter’s world is often her own, there are times throughout the day where she seeks to be near or play with others. It is obvious that she wants so badly to be included. When her sisters have friends over to play, she follows them everywhere wanting to be in the middle of action, even if that means sitting in the center of a kickball game.

It was with this in mind, that we established 
Life Center for Autism Foundation, a 501(C)3 non–profit foundation, to specifically address the social needs of individuals struggling with autism and its related disorders.

It is our dream that the foundation would build an activity center where individuals, family members and caregivers could share, socialize and engage in activities. A place where individuals, despite their autistic behaviors, could develop friendships and be accepted. It would be a gathering and support location for those that struggle with autism and its related disorders. It would be a meeting area for local and national agencies to communicate their message. It would be a place that emphasizes health and wellness, despite physical or developmental disabilities.

It would be a place where no one feels alone.

If you would like to make a donation to this foundation, please call 440-526-6556.

Sincerely,

David and Deborah May
Board of Directors
Life Center for Autism Foundation

To learn more about autism, click here.

Thinking of a Second Career

Thinking of a Second Career
By: Charlene Davisphoto

Once upon a time, retirement meant taking a permanent leave of absence from the workforce to tinker in the garden and play endless games of bridge with friends. But today’s mature adults look better, feel better, and think that going over the proverbial hill is a new thrill ride with fun and interesting opportunities waiting to be discovered. Fast forward to the second millennium and you will discover that "unretiring” is the new buzz word among today’s older generation. It’s even earned an official spot in the Random House Unabridged Dictionary.

A recent survey by Zogby International and the MetLife Mature Market Institute found that a considerable number of older Americans have joined the ranks of working retirees and not necessarily because they are struggling to make ends meet. Many people decide on second careers because it’s an opportunity to turn a fun hobby into a lucrative business, while others like exciting challenges or want to learn a new skill.

In his book, Encore: Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life, author Marc Freedman says that boomers will work longer for many reasons, but the real force driving people to find meaningful work is personal. "It’s that inner voice calling for something as simple as a change of pace, as ambitious as changing the world, as profound as reclaiming a dream deferred before it is denied,” he writes.

Although following a dream or calling can be very exciting and fulfilling, you don’t want to take off helter-skelter and find yourself skating on thin ice. With any new undertaking you need to find solid footing by preparing yourself, doing your homework, and making a plan before embarking on your new vocation.

First, think about what you are looking for in your second career. More travel, less administrative work, meet new people, flexibility? If you are turning a long-time hobby into an entrepreneurial enterprise, will you need additional funding or education? Are you going solo or is this a shared venture with your spouse or close friend? The best way to hammer out these types of details is to put together a business plan – even if it’s just a short mini-plan. You can find free templates to get started with on the internet.

Once you know what direction you’re headed start talking to people who have already made the late-life career transition, as well as folks who are working in your same area of interest. Not only can you learn from their firsthand experiences, you can also find out more about the business you hope to get into.

When you are finally ready to take the plunge into your second career, do so with the understanding that it’s highly unlikely you’re going to get rich quick or become an overnight success. Turning a profit can take months – or longer. Running a business requires hard work, commitment, and enthusiasm. Lots of enthusiasm. Otherwise, it’s just another day at work. This time is yours so relax, have fun, and enjoy yourself!

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CHARLENE DAVIS (http://www.thewriteessentials.com/) is a internationally published writer specializing in business, retail, e-commerce, and food. She has written Design and Start an Online Travel Business in a Week, Start Your Own Photography Business, Start Your Own Clothing Store, and How to Sell Clothing, Shoes, & Accessories on eBay, as well as two additional books co-authored with Jacquelyn Lynn, Make BIG Profits on eBay and Start Your Own Senior Services Business (all published by Entrepreneur Press). Charlene wrote this feature article exclusively for the Association of Artisan Businesses (http://www.artisanbusinesses.org/), an organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the artisan industry.