On Wednesday evening, May 24th, Friends of Autistic People (FAP) hosted a fundraiser in backcountry Greenwich.
FAP was founded in 1997 by Brita Darany Von Regensburg, herself a parent of an autistic child, and is the only charitable organization in Connecticut that advocates for adults with autism.
The highlight of the event was a fashion show with Tommy Hilfiger, a parent of three autistic children and a long time supporter of FAP.
Hifiger presented his clothing designs and accessories in auction to benefit the organization.
In explanation for her motivation to found the organization, Brita noted, “I realized what needs to be done is to have services for children with autism when they grow up so we don’t abandon them.”
“We need a mandate for services commensurate with the needs of adults with autism,” Darany Von Regensburg continued, noting that if these needs are provided for, as they grow older and develop skills, their needs will become less and the cost to society will decrease.
With the increasing number of adults with autism, the hope is that legislators recognize the need for action to provide for services for adults with autism.
Darany Von Regensburg has called on elected officials, including US Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, and Congressman Jim Himes to rally on behalf of a bill for mandated services for this critical group.
Darany Von Regensburg spoke from her own experience as the parent of an adult child with autism and the needs of parents with many fewer resources than her who are overwhelmed by the demands of parenting an autistic adult child.
Mr. Hilfiger spoke in acknowledgement of the work of Ms. Darany Von Regensburg on behalf of FAP. Hilfiger and his wife Dee spoke of their three special needs children on the autism spectrum and how answering these needs has been a central part of their lives. They agreed that there is a need for the government to assist in helping parents meet these needs.