Dear Mr. Donohue & News12,
We are writing on behalf of the Association for Science in Autism Treatment (ASAT) to thank you for your recent story, Flemington Man with Autism Makes Hundreds of Masks to Donate to Area Hospitals. This thoughtfully written piece showcases one of the many heroes working together to help during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This article positively portrayed the way that Jack Butler is giving back to his community in this difficult time, and is a wonderful way to celebrate Autism Awareness Month. Like so many of us, the COVID-19 pandemic upended Jack’s routines, and his mom, Marianne Clancy, a former and well respected ASAT board member, leveraged the extra time and Jack’s penchant for structure with the needs of the times. The resulting masks he has created have benefited local hospital workers during a time of desperate need. Often, when discussing autism, it is easy to focus on the challenges associated with the diagnosis, and interventions used to treat it. This article serves as an important reminder that all people, including people with autism, are not defined by their needs, challenges, or supports we require, but by our contributions to the world. Thank you for bringing this perspective to your reporting.
You can find more information about ASAT and our work here with specific resources for media professionals writing about autism here. Please feel free to browse our resources, and thank you again for your heartwarming and inspiring story.
Elizabeth Callahan, MA, BCBA
Chante Stoeckley, MEd, BCBA
Association for Science in Autism Treatment