Walk Through The Red Door For Autism was established in November 2013 by Paul Donato and his wife Andrea to support underprivileged children and families dealing with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
The foundation was conceived in honour of a family member, who after a decade-long struggle with ASD, was diagnosed in 2012 with Asperger’s Disorder. Paul and Andrea were fortunate to have the resources to provide their family member with professional counselling, therapy, skills training and educational opportunities.
"We wanted to ensure their chance to live a happy and fulfilled life....at the point now where they are becoming a fully functional young adult who no longer feels on the outside, looking in. Living life with ASD for our family member is like any of us with poor eyesight trying to read without glasses.....the social disconnectedness alone that children with ASD feel in school and among their peers is enough to crush even the strongest of youthful spirits.”
As a family we have been able to help overcome many of the disabilities associated with ASD. We realize, however, that there are many families with children struggling with ASD in Ontario who may not be able to pay for similar services.
Many individuals with ASD have trouble communicating with others or have difficulty with regular social interactions. Other signs include a tendency toward repetitive behaviours, and unusual or severely limited activities and interests. ASD develops differently from person to person, and the effects can range from relatively mild to debilitating. Unlike some conditions, there is no "typical" person with ASD.
The main aim of Walk Through The Red Door For Autism is to "open the door" and provide these families with a place to turn to when they are in need of support and ASD resources. There are many agencies in Ontario who provide incredible services, but both the agencies currently in operation and the families who need them most are sadly lacking in funding.
Walk Through The Red Door For Autism will award grants annually through non-profit organizations that provide direct services, family support grants, education, counselling, sports therapy and recreational opportunities for children with ASD in the communities of Dundas, Hamilton and Toronto, Ontario. 100% of the money raised goes to the grants awarded, we personally cover all of the operating costs.