Marlboro Elementary School held its first-ever autism awareness color run on April 22 at Cluett Schantz Memorial Park. The slightly messy but family friendly event, co-sponsored by the Marlboro Faculty Association and the Marlboro Elementary School (MES) Special Education Department, raised money for a sensory calming room at MES.
Special guest was Marlboro native Kayla Wagner, founder and CEO of As You Are, a virtual clinic providing autism evaluations for kids. Kayla, a clinician and researcher, has dedicated her career to creating healthcare solutions that remove barriers and deliberately increase early identification of childhood disorders by increasing access to high-quality care for all children, regardless of resources or socioeconomic status. During the pandemic, Kayla saw there was a huge need to reduce the average wait time for an autism diagnosis in the United States. In August 2022, she launched As You Are, which is available to anyone, anywhere. All children are welcome, and every child’s individual abilities are recognized and valued as part of this diagnostic model.
Wagner was joined by Kyle, brother of her best friend and the inspiration for As You Are.
“I wish I could see the world through Kyle’s eyes,” she said in a recent interview “He finds so much joy in everyday things that most people take for granted. Kyle and I have a special friendship because we don’t need words to communicate with each other. He has found his own way to let people know that he loves them without saying anything. It’s because of his joyful spirit that his sister became a special education teacher. It’s because of his joyful spirit that I became a researcher and clinician, working with children who have autism. Kyle has inspired me to be more like Kyle every day.”
As You Are recently extended its service area to New York State. To learn more about As You Are and how to get started, please visit AsYouAre.com.