Humble Crew’s May Charity Social Event was very educational. Our very own Ryan Andretta taught us about the Federation for Children with Special Needs (FCSN). FCSN is an organization that primarily informs, supports, and assists parents of children with disabilities as well as their professional partners and community members.
The Federation’s mission is to listen to and learn from these families, which in turn helps them encourage these families’ full participation in community life. They also advocate for the active and informed participation of parents of children with disabilities in creating, implementing, and evaluating public policy that affects their children.
This organization is particularly important to Ryan—she spent 7 years babysitting a little boy with Autism and over the years she saw him through numerous appointments like speech and occupational therapy after a full day at school. Although she was immensely proud to watch him break out of his shell and become more sociable, she recognizes how difficult it was for his two working parents to keep up with all the appointments. She says, “It really does take a village to raise a child, especially a child with special needs”. In her experience, the work that FCSN does for families like this is invaluable.
The sheer number of children living with disabilities also goes to show how important the FCSN’s mission is. Disabilities affect 13% of children under the age of 18, and about two-thirds of those children are male. The types of special needs that affect children vary, but no matter the disability they are not as uncommon as you might think. One in five children are reported to be living with a learning disability (like dyslexia and ADHD). One particularly shocking statistic is that in the past two decades, Autism in children has increased by 650%.
Despite the frequency of special needs being reported in children, these students receive even less support once they leave the traditional K-12 school system. Unfortunately, colleges do not have the same legal obligations as high schools in terms of support and services offered to special needs students. Even further, about 75% of adults with special needs are without employment once they enter the work force.
We recognize the work that FCSN does is extremely important, and their impact in the lives of these families cannot be understated. Humble Crew is proud to have donated in support of the work FCSN is doing to uplift children with special needs in our community.
You can learn more about FCSN here: https://fcsn.org/