Autism Speaks

A few minutes ago, I got an email from Keith Lee, a friend of mine in Seattle. Keith owns a retail supply house. The email was about the son of one of his clients, and a benefit auction that his client is having. I have other friends whose children are autistic, or have Asperger’s, so I thought I would post this here.

Read on, please

You Can Make a Difference in the Life of a Child with Autism

In celebration of their 60 year anniversary one of your fellow
Retailers, Rolf Williams from Jerrolâ??s Book and Supply Co.
in Ellensberg, Washington , is making a huge difference in the
lives of children with Autism, and you can help.

Jerrolâ??s has a 60 year tradition of leadership in the Central
Washington community. In celebration of their 60th year
in business they are sponsoring a fundraising and awareness
auction in support of Autism Speaks, Inc.

Gerik Williams
Hereâ??s a letter from Rolf with information on how you can help
1 in 150 Children Will be Diagnosed with Autism.
It is a startling statistic from the Centers for Disease Control.
And it has staggering implications for the children, parents,
siblings and our communities. I know, because my son
Gerik is one of the diagnosed children in that statistic.
Gerik is ten years old, non-verbal, with profound (severe)
classic autism. I watch him daily struggling to be understood
and accepted.

Because children with autism show no physical signs to indicate
their diagnosis, most people and even their own relatives cannot
see their autism. Their actions and reactions appear to be signs
of discipline or behavior problems

Sue Litchfield, Cle Elum, WA
â??I had never seen the puzzle pieced autism pin until I walked into
Jerrolâ??s Book and Supply four years ago. Rolf Williams was
wearing one as he waited on his customers and I asked him what
it was. That conversation emphasizing the importance of early
intervention was the catalyst that led to my two- year-old grandson
being diagnosed with autism and enrolled in a developmental
preschool program. Early intervention has made a profound
difference in Dylanâ??s life. His education team targeted speech
and behavioral skills. After months of gibberish, Dylan can
now speak in full sentences. His teacher sends home social
stories that teach skills like looking at people when they talk
to you. Although Dylan is not yet ready to enter general
education class, because of early intervention, his education
team believe that he will eventually be able to do so.�

You have probably seen children at the grocery store
checkout line flapping their hands, uttering unusual sounds
or talking at inappropriate times and wondered what was
wrong. Perhaps you even thought the child needed to
be disciplined. What people fail to understand is that a
child with autism has little control over those behaviors.
It is not uncommon for families to be asked to leave
stores due to their childrenâ??s apparent â??behaviorâ? issues.

Shopping with an autistic child is an experience that hinges
on the understanding of those around you. When people
are accepting and understanding it can be a wonderful
learning experience for a child with autism to be out in the
community. When there is intolerance or a lack of
understanding it becomes a battle filled with guilt and
dread which must be undertaken weekly.

Awareness in the Community is the â??Cure.â?
In contrast, just this morning I was grocery shopping with
Gerik and my daughter Jordan. While we were passing
the meat aisle a girl next to us turned to the woman with
her and said, â??Look, itâ??s Gerik!!â? The tone of her voice
made me smile. She was a classmate and that exchange
brings tears to my eyes as I write this. The girl was accepting
of my son and wanted to share with others her relationship
with Gerik.

My familyâ??s 3RD & 4th generation independent bookstore,
Jerrolâ??s Book and Supply Co., is celebrating its 60th anniversary
by sponsoring the Autism in our Community Awareness Auction.

Jerrolâ??s Book and Supply Co. is paying all expenses for the
auction so 100% of the proceeds will go to the nonprofit
organization, Autism Speaks Inc.
But the main purpose of the
auction is to capture the mediaâ??s attention in order to inform
people of the real story of real people in our communities
working through the complexities of Autism. Additional
information on Autism Speaks Inc. and the Autism in our
Community Awareness Auction can be found at

How you can help: From Keith
Understand Autism

Go to and learn about
Autism, and how you can help families deal with the
disorder when you run across them at the supermarket
or wherever. Youâ??ll be surprised how much you can do
with just some understanding.

Who knows, like Sue Litchfield above, you may even
become the catalyst for diagnosing someone close
to you with autism!

Donate products or services to the Auction
Go to and click Donate.

Attend the auction
Within the next few days go to,
and sign up to attend the auction. The link to attend
the auction is not up yet.

Forward this to your friends, family and associates.
You never know who can help. Maybe one of their
loved ones has autism and they can be the key to
early detection.

Letâ??s all help our fellow retailer, Rolf Williams, with this wonderful
Keith Lee
American Retail Supply
Thompson Merchandising & Supply
6205 S 231st Street
Kent, WA 98032