By Dan Olmsted
-- Claudine Liss and Louise Habakus for best tag team of the year, staging a rally on the lawn of a house Obama and Corzine had to pass on their way to a party, and then questioning Obama on his vaccine stance at the party.
-- Dr. Alan Sherr. This nomination comes from Kim Bastible, Mom of Luke Bastible 5 y/o ASD:
"Dr. Alan Sherr, Chiropractor and Medical Director of the Northport Wellness Center, has been treating autism spectrum disorder in his practice for many, many years -- long before it became "fashionable" to do so.
He has a practice of over 400 patients currently diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Unlike most practitioners these days, he accepts insurance and will even work out easy payment plans. He is a DAN! Practitioner with all the bells and whistles, but so much more. He manages a multidiscipline practice which includes; Chiropractic, Homeopathy, Holistic Medicine, Nutrition, Reiki, Acupuncture, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and Trigger Point Therapy. Both his patients and their families adore him. In addition to being a DAN! doc, he is really well informed on all the latest treatment modalities and trials. He has spoken before the State Assembly, numerous school districts, parent groups and just about anyone who will listen on behalf of our children. He has also spent countless hours at his own cost and time to raise not only awareness, but money too. He is also a tireless advocate on vaccine safety and choice. More than 20 years ago, in 1986 he was forced to sue the Northport School District on behalf of his 2 sons, when his religious exemption to vaccines was denied; while he ultimately lost that battle, he did win the war as state law was changed to accept religious exemptions. His soft-spoken, gentle manners help to instill a sense of compassion as well as competence."
-- The Unknown Father, nominated by Tracey Sherman:
The dads out there that get no credit for fighting the good fight side by side and sometimes exceeding what the mothers do. Some dads are not invested or don't know how to show that they are invested in getting their children better; that puts a bad light on the dads that are invested 110%. So I nominate "The Unknown Father."
-- Shauna Layton, Together In Autism. The nominator wrote:
"She does not have any big names helping her. She's a mother who does all this hard work on her own and devotes lots of time to helping our community daily. She should also be acknowledged for the fact that the site togetherinautism.org has grown so much and so quickly since it started. It is well known for covering everything where most are isolated on one or a few topics. She cares very deeply about each and every family with autism, supporting them one on one. There is true heart in all that she does. Someone who devotes so much of their time and energy especially in the face of their own challenges deserves acknowledgement."
According to another nomination:
"She is a full time stay at home mom who uses all of her free time to help others in need. Her website is a rare one, as it covers ALL things autism, it is not focused in one certain area and it's for all that are on the spectrum. It most importantly provides a personal touch. 100% FREE. The name Together In Autism says it all. This mother developed her site originating in the Midwest in 2007 and now she is helping thousands of families across the globe (U.S. Bulgaria, India, Korea, Netherlands, U.K., just to name a few). You name it and she helped people from that region."
-- John Gilmore:
"If it wasn't for him, we would have never heard of the Polings (he organized that press conference on CNN) and organized the protests in both NYC and San Francisco against Michael Savage.
He is also the only person in New York State to form a coalition to get REAL legislation passed on both a state and local level.
He is also a founding member of A-Champ, The Autism Action Network and Autism United. John is also the organizer for the HOPE Walk on Long Island, which raises thousands each year.
He has spoken at countless rallies, protests and conferences around the country."
-- NYC Firefighter Tim Dwyer, for educating Denis Leary on the realities of living with autism.
After hearing Leary's negative comments he fired off a scorching letter (published on Age of Autism), challenging him to come out to The ELIJA School on Long Island and see his "fat, lazy, stupid, son."
Under pressure Leary called Tim and agreed to come out to the school for a meeting to "work things out."
Although he continues to insist his comments were taken out of context, he did visit The ELIJA School and spend an hour touring each classroom and meeting all staff and students.
Later that week in multiple book interviews he referenced many of Tim's words regarding the struggles of families with autism.
He also pledged future support for our community. Thanks to Tim's efforts, I don't think we will hear him or any other comic utter the words 'inattentive mothers or competitive fathers' anytime soon. Thanks Tim!"