In the spirit of the season, today we look back at a show recorded at the Santa & Sons Christmas tree lot in North Hollywood. Adrian had visited the Seattle Seahawks’ Virginia Mason Athletic Center (VMAC) where he talked with Traci Schneider about Ben’s Fund, helping children with autism reach their full potential. Later in the show Adrian talks with Alaina Huffman, Billy Boyd and Ian Whyte.
Disability does not discriminate; it can affect anyone, young or old. However, with advances in technology and raised awareness about physical and mental disabilities more is being done to provide opportunities for disabled children to excel and, in many cases, learn to function independently as adults.
Developmental disabilities includes disorders that cause physical impairments, intellectual disabilities, speech disorders, and medical conditions. They are usually present and diagnosed at birth, however some, like autism, may not be easily identified until a little later.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects about 1 in 59 children. Boys are diagnosed with ASD about 5 times more often than girls. The AAP recommends that all children be screened for ASD at their 18- and 24-month well-child checkups. Because most children with ASD will sit, crawl, and walk on time, you may not notice delays in social and communication skills right away.
Research shows that starting an intervention program as soon as possible can improve outcomes for many children with autism.
This brings us to today's organization, Ben's Fund.
Established in 2012 by Seahawks General Manager John Schneider and wife Traci, and in partnership with Families for Effective Autism Treatment (FEAT) of Washington, Ben’s Fund was named in honor of their son Ben, who has autism. @bensfundautismgrant
The Fund provides grants to families in order to help cover costs associated with medical bills, therapies and numerous other aspects of supporting a child, or children, on the autism spectrum. It also connects families to FEAT so they will be established in a larger community to receive ongoing guidance and assistance as they continue their journey with autism.
“We understand this need and the struggles families face first-hand as one of our children was diagnosed with autism several years ago,” said Seahawks GM John Schneider.
Actress Alaina Huffman joined The Peace Fund’s Interactive Storytelling Program when she visited the Watts Willowbrook Boys & Girls Club to take Toy Story to children in the after school program. In 1957 the Watts/Willowbrook Boys & Girls Club (WWBGC) was founded as a gift to the community from the Los Angeles Times Charities, Inc. Originally incorporated as the Southern Area Boys Club, this organization was the first Club to serve the South Los Angeles area.
Canadian film and television actress and producer Alaina Huffman is known for her work on Supernatural, SGU Stargate Universe, Smallville, Painkiller Jane, Serving Sara and many others.
Adrian also caught up with Billy Boyd an actor and musician, at a convention recently. Billy is best known for his role as Pippin in The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy and he is also one of the founders of the band Beecake.
Billy talks about his support of the Eilidh Brown Memorial Fund, founded by her family after Eilidh passed away following a 14-month battle with Germ Cell Cancer. Throughout the year, Eilidh endured several major surgeries to remove various tumous as well countless hours of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. She was 9 days short of her 16th birthday.
The aim of the Memorial Fund is to build and maintain a respite holiday home in the Stirling area for young people and their families who are in treatment for or recovering from cancer. A place where, not only can the families relax and spend quality time together, but they can make memories that will last a lifetime. Before Eilidh passed away, the family took a holiday to Calum's Cabin, it was their last holiday together. Eilidh wanted other families to have the opportunity to do this too.
Ian Whyte is best known for his work on Game of Thrones, Prometheus, Clash of the Titans, Solomon Kane and Alien v. Predator: Requiem.
He spoke with Adrian about the Chronicle Sunshine Fund, a charity that he and his wife are passionate about. The Chronicle Sunshine Fund provides specialized equipment to children with disabilities in the North East of England. Individuals, groups, registered organizations, special and mainstream schools and hospitals can ask for their support to improve the lives of children with disabilities. The Chronicle Sunshine Fund was founded in 1928 by King George V. He came to Newcastle to open the Tyne Bridge and while he was here he donated £15 to give underprivileged children a day out to the coast. The Chronicle adopted the idea of giving to children in the area and the Chronicle Sunshine Fund was established.