104 “Feet” and Counting —
Team Pediatric Alliance Cares

By Joyce Douglas, Office Manager, Pediatric Alliance — Allergy, Asthma & Immunology



It is my honor to lead our team “Pediatric Alliance Cares” this year at the Highmark Walk for A Healthy Community on Saturday, May 14. This year, we chose to support Autism Connection of PA.

When I think back to 1996 when I finally received my daughter’s official diagnosis the world was a very different place. First, I had to drag my sweet baby to 5 different pediatric practices before one would take my worries and concerns seriously. The practice that helped me is currently known as Pediatric Alliance North Hills — if only I had gone there first!

After she was diagnosed I quickly learned that many individuals did not even know what autism was. In fact, on more than one form (completed by professionals) my daughter is listed as “artistic,” which cannot be further from the truth. Sadly, services were very few and far between. It was Autism Connection of PA (formerly known as ABOARD) that helped me to help my child.

Today just about everyone knows a specific person or family affected by autism. Just about everyone also seems to know generally what the diagnosis means. There are more services than ever and quality is now a big part of the equation. In addition, thanks to a partnership between Autism Connection of PA and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, we are the ONLY city to have 100% of the district regularly producing sensory-friendly events — something I never dreamed possible for “children like mine” back in the 1990’s! (Pediatric Alliance raffles tickets to families for the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s sensory-friendly performances of popular shows every year!)

However, there are still many challenges that require many steps for my daughter and the thousands of individuals like her to achieve. These include the necessary life goals such as driving (or not), jobs (full time or part time), adapting to constant changes, “her” home, and contributing to a 401k plan, to name just a few. I am so glad that Autism Connection of PA is still with me to help.

It’s nice to give back… and being the Team Leader for Pediatric Alliance Cares is one great way to do this.

52 walkers (104 feet) strong and counting!


Here are the details:

Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community
Saturday, May 14, 2016
Stage AE


If you would like to help our cause, donations can be made at: http://bit.ly/1Ocx4M1.

(** You are welcome to send us a note or donate anonymously on the above web address.)


If you prefer writing a check, please make the check out to Autism Connection of PA and mail it to:

Autism Connection PA
35 Wilson Street
Suite 100
Pittsburgh, PA 15223