On August 22-23, 2019, The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation attended the International Symposium on Rehabilitation and Advocacy for Autism sponsored by the Ai You Foundation at the Crowne Plaza in Beijing, China as an invited Keynote addressee.
Over the course of two days, this international conference featured lectures on psychosocial support for families with Autism, organizational management of Chinese rehabilitation centers, and – led by renowned behavioral analyst Vicci Tucci – how the Competent Learning model fosters inclusion for Autistic children. Two of our founding Board of Trustees members, Howard and Frederick Fiddle, proudly represented The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation as the only international organization invited to share its trailblazing mission, representing the US Charitable Sector at the Conference.
Howard Fiddle participated on an international panel that discussed capacity building and vital support from the charitable sector. Frederick Fiddle presented a KEYNOTE address on the work of The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation since its inception. This includes the establishment of hundreds of adult Autism programs throughout the United States, educational and public service publications relating to topics focused on adult Autism and most recently the historic establishment of five endowed funds at America’s leading universities, each focused on unique areas that vitally impact adults diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Tugging at the heartstrings of the audience, Frederick Fiddle led a moving story of Danny Fiddle, his late son for whom the foundation is named.
Sponsoring the event, the Ai You (AY) Foundation spawned with the then new foundation laws in China in 2004, uses its entrepreneurial staff to push Chinese nonprofits into the 21st century. AY dedicates its efforts to the medical needs of children who need it most, including the Ai You HeKang Rehab Center for children with Autism.
The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation shared its visionary mission of worldwide acceptance of neurodiversity and the need to value all individuals. Starting out in New Jersey, Executive Director Linda Walder expanded the foundation’s outreach to all forms of media worldwide, including USA Today, the New York Times, Traditional Home and Redbook magazines, to name a few. Today she writes in the blog she established entitled, Autism for a Lifetime: Finding Joy in the Journey. The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation shared its innovative and collaborative model that focuses on joint-ventures and partnerships aimed to achieve specific societal change.
The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation assures a global focus on cutting edge research, program development, and public policy in the world of Autism through the strategic implementation of The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Adult Autism Endowed Funds. Located in the nation’s elite universities, The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation five Adult Autism Endowed Funds each focus on a specific area of adult Autism. The partnership with Yale Medical School, for instance, is the first Fund in the nation dedicated exclusively to support research projects relating to adults living with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). Helping those with ASD express themselves artistically, Brown University’s Theatre Arts and Performance Studies (TAPS) nurtures both undergraduate and graduate collaboration with the Autism community, fighting stigma and revealing the nuances of neurodiverse living. The Rutgers School of Social Work sends three to four Fellows to work as direct clinicians with family members of autistic adults and develop a web-based resource guide for families to use nationwide. At the University of Miami through The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Transition and Adult Programs at the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, model programs focus on job training and attainment, workplace support and social skills development. Yet these efforts would be naught without extensive public policy advocacy in all levels of government. Thanks to our gift of $100,000, fellows at the Watts College of Public Services and Community Solutions at Arizona State can develop a comprehensive policy agenda serving the needs of adults with ASD and their loved ones through The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Center for Public Policy located at First Place in Phoenix, Arizona.
“We blaze trails that aim to inspire the world to embrace the fact that Autism is a lifelong challenge, that neurodiversity is valued as a matter of human rights, and that the public and private sectors have an obligation to create the supports and services necessary for all individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders to live their best life possible,” said Linda Walder. The opportunity to present this vision not only opened doors to a whole new world but successfully inspired the international and Chinese-based audience to view Autism as a lifelong journey with promising destinations as diverse as those who have been diagnosed. The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation’s person-centered initiatives and programs have already helped countless adults with ASD lead fulfilling lives, and assuredly will for generations to come around the world.
Ryan Schindler is an Autism Advocate in Atlanta, Georgia. He has an MPA from Syracuse, University and specializes in Public Policy. He loves playing board games, watching tv, and singing in a barbershop quartet. Currently Ryan is working on projects for The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation.
This article has been reprinted with permission. The original article can be found at https://djfiddlefoundation.wordpress.com/2020/02/23/the-daniel-jordan-fiddle-foundation-for-adult-autism-shares-its-pioneering-mission-on-the-global-stage-in-beijingchina-by-ryan-shindler/.