Monday, August 1, 2011

Day 41 A Puzzling Win

Or should I say, I Won A Puzzle!! A big 3000 piece puzzle! But that’s nothing in comparison to the size of the puzzle that high schooler Kaitlin Reilly is putting together. The 24,000 piece colossus entitled “Life, The Greatest Puzzle” has the Guiness Book of World Records’ title of World’s Largest Puzzle, measuring 14 ft by 5ft, and taking up 70 sq ft of table space. And thanks to Reilly, I’m getting a miniature version of it, sort of miniature... it is 3000 pieces after all. 
So why is Reilly, a high school student who holds titles such as “Youngest in the World to Complete Solo”, putting this puzzle together and holding contests? She has a goal to raise $24,000 through her Every Piece Counts fundraiser for Autism Awareness and Autism research, that’s just a $1 per puzzle piece! The Puzzle Piece has become the symbol for Autism Awareness with organizations like Autism Speaks using it as their logo. Please stop by her blog and consider donating to her cause.  
If you know me or read my blog at all, you know that my nine year old son was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and ADHD. Asperger’s is a form of autism, but the autism spectrum is quite a large one. My son is on the very high functioning side of the disorder, meaning he had no speech delays and met all his milestones within the normal time frame. However, he struggles with social situations, pragmatic speech, and specific interests, just to name a few. I would love for more awareness to be made about the many faces of autism because there needs to be better understanding of how to help these children earlier on. My son wasn’t diagnosed until this year, so he (actually all of us) struggled for years without having better information and compassion from those around him. Unfortunately, it is quite easy for a child to go undiagnosed when they have Asperger’s which is why I feel more research and awareness must be done. I wish had known more about the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) much sooner. We could’ve gotten him more meaningful help when he was younger. With that said...
Yay!!! I won!! Thanks Kaitlin! You’re doing amazing work! I can’t wait to get my puzzle... I just have to find a place to put it together (eh, we can do without a kitchen table for a while). I haven’t done a puzzle over a 1000 pieces before. Oooh, I’m so excited! I’ll be smiling for sometime over this one! Thanks again!

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