From left, Austin, David, Crystal and Ethan Floyd of Kirkland are preparing to participate in the Autism WAAAlk. Contributed photo

Kirkland family prepares for Autism WAAAlk

The Washington Autism Alliance and Advocacy (WAAA) is preparing for its annual WAAAlk for Autism, a fundraiser with proceeds going to support improved insurance access and effective services in schools and communities for kids with autism and developmental disabilities.

The event starts at 10 a.m. April 2 at Marina Park in Kirkland and includes family-friendly activities and a resource fair in addition to the walk, which begins at 11 a.m.

One of the local families participating is the Floyds. Their son, Ethan, was diagnosed with autism at age 2. Now 11, Ethan is in the fifth grade at Rose Hill Elementary School.

“I was patient (before), but I’m way more patient than I ever imagined I would be,” Ethan’s mom, Crystal, said of the experience of having a child with autism. “(But) I wouldn’t change it.”

She said the family has been involved with various advocacy events over the last nine years, and Crystal works as a paraeducator in the Lake Washington School District and is the special needs chair for the PTA, all in effort to assist students and families affected by autism and other developmental disabilities in finding resources. She and her husband, David, also run a Lego Club through My Village NW (formerly Northwest Special Families).

“It’s a quiet, non-stressful environment,” she said of the latter.

Crystal said advocacy is a key part of reducing the stigma around autism and events such as the upcoming walk are key.

“(Having autism) doesn’t mean that they’re any different from anyone else,” she said. “It doesn’t make you any less of a human being.”

Their team for the WAAAlk for Autism is named “Incredible Ethan” for a couple of reasons. When Ethan was a newborn, he had to wear goggles to protect his eyesight. Eyeballs were drawn on the goggles that made him look like a superhero. Another reason is that for his first Halloween, Ethan dressed as Jack Jack, the baby from “The Incredibles.”

The Floyds’ fundraising page for the walk can be found online at crowdrise.com/crystalfloyd-WAAAlkForAutism2017. More information about the WAAAlk for Autism can be found online at washingtonautismadvocacy.org/updates/waaalkforautism.

More in Life

Walen among mayors named honorary co-chairs of Lake Washington Citizens Levy Committee

The three mayors in the LWSD support the district’s propositions on the February 2018 ballot.

Kirkland residents perform in regional choir concerts

The Northwest Boychoir presents its 39th annual A Festival of Lessons &… Continue reading

VitalSource staff spends work day helping families give gift of Christmas to kids

Parents walked out of Christmas House, some with carts piled high with… Continue reading

Getting with the program: Frost students participate in Hour of Code

The worldwide computer science event aims to teach young minds the basics of computer programming.

Lessons from the Queen of Katwe

Youth receive chess tips from internationally renowned Ugandan woman and Northwest University student.

GOP tax plan leaves housing market in a wait-and-see mood

By Annie Gustafson Special to the Reporter Similar to the number of… Continue reading

Finn Hill musicians selected for All-State honor groups

The three students will represent Finn Hill in the Junior All-State Honor Concert on Feb. 17, 2018

Kirkland Nourishing Networks helps fill the hunger gap during long school breaks

The network of neighbors provide food boxes for local families in need.

Kirkland Holiday Art Market opens this week

Kirkland Arts Center will be hosting a Holiday Art Market featuring local… Continue reading

Most Read