As a school psychologist and someone on the inside of the autism community, it’s often easy to forget that some of my fellow Clevelanders may be unaware of the impressive autism network we have at our fingertips in Northeast Ohio.

Over the years, I have gained insight to this community thanks to my professional and personal involvement with Milestones Autism Resources, an agency that helps individuals with autism reach their potential. I have experienced the passion within this system firsthand, a passion that reminds me of the close-knit altruism within our local Jewish community. 

I initially became involved after seeing the need to provide autism resources to my students. Milestones connected me with the vetted resources I needed. This evolved into volunteering, participating in their conference, and recently, into serving as co-chair for Strike It Big, one of their biggest fundraisers. 

Strike It Big for Milestones represents everything the larger autism community works to accomplish together: support for one another. Through fundraising and attending the event on March 11, we can support Milestones’ free autism help desk, a service that provides families with guidance at every stage of their child’s development. 

Being co-chair has enriched my professional knowledge but more importantly, it has enriched my life. Through my work, I hope to introduce others to ways they can partner with organizations like Milestones. We must support our special needs population and educate one another about the opportunities to do so here at home.

Edie Ungar-Shafron, School Psychologist

Orange School District

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