Blevins has become a champion for his sons’ cause. He and his wife founded the Project Autism of St. Johns organization in St. Augustine to provide a support network for residents diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder and their families as well as to promote awareness. In February, Blevins began perhaps the most tangible evidence of his commitment to his sons’ conditions — he walked from St. Augustine to Washington, D.C. It took him 39 days and countless blisters and swollen knees and ankles to cover about 800 miles. Along the way he spoke to as many residents, newspapers and organizations as possible to try to raise awareness for autism and the benefits of early intervention. His Facebook page, Walking with Troy, gained about 2,400 followers throughout the trip. Early intervention is something Blevins believes is incredibly important for children with autism. The earlier the diagnosis, the earlier they can begin treatment and therapy that could improve their quality of life. A low-functioning child, Blevins said, could cost his parents $9 million in care, treatment and education a lifetime. If that child improves to become moderately functioning, he said, the cost drops down to about $3 million. For high-functioning children, the cost is about $1 million.
Sunday, June 17, 2012
An Autism Father's Day
An earlier post described an autism dad from St. Augustine, Florida on an awareness crusade. On Father's Day, The St. Augustine Record follows up: