2019 Eastern Run/Walk for Autism

Roland literally on the river.
Roland literally on the river.

Roland On The River

Welcome to team Roland On The River!

Team Roland On The River was formed to celebrate Roland, who is non-verbal autistic, and support autism awareness. Roland is a fun-loving six-year-old. He loves books, music, being outside and water. Ro, as I affectional call him, is a cuddle monster, who loves to laugh and be silly. He is the rainbow of my life and has a laugh that will make you smile for days.

In the words of Stuart Duncan:
" Autism is a spectrum. Each and every person has their own shade and is needed to complete the rainbow."

Since autism comes in many shades and colors, individuals with autism require a variety of brushes, paints and canvases to color their world. The Autism Society is one of many resources that serve autistic individuals in Pitt County and allow them to shine their true colors. That is why Roland and I support the Autism Society and other autism resources in Pitt County.

On a personal note, the Autism Society helped me navigate the confusing, and often frustrating, process of creating Roland's Individualized Education Program (IEP) to help ensure Roland receives a quality education. The Autism Society provided educational resources and consultation to help me understand the laws that govern special education, including student and parent rights, which I had to call upon. Furthermore, an Autism Society advocate accompanied me to an IEP meeting to help take notes and ensure Roland's rights were not being violated. We would like to send a big thank you to the Autism Society for providing this free assistance, which has allowed Roland to excel in the classroom.

Roland and I would be honored and humbled if you would help us support The Autism Society and their mission to serve autistic individuals, like Roland, in our community.

Team Name Origin: When I was pregnant with Ro I only had boys' names picked out, with Roland on the top of the list. I could not find any girls' names I liked. On the way to my sonogram to determine if I was having a boy or girl the song 'Proud Mary' by Creedance Clearwater Revival came on the radio:

Big wheel keep on turnin',
Proud Mary keep on burnin',
Rollin', rollin', rollin' on the river.
Rollin', rollin', rollin' on the river.
Rollin', rollin', rollin' on the river.
Rollin', rollin', rollin' on the river.

“I guess that’s God telling me I will have a little boy, right Roland,” I said as I patted my tummy. And sure enough the sonogram confirmed I was having a little boy. I was having Roland. Ro loves to hear that story. Of course, when I tell him his tale I use more storytelling embellishments, which he greatly enjoys.

Thank you for supporting the Eastern Run/Walk for Autism. Your contribution is greatly appreciated.

With Love,
Sharon Ceres (AKA Roland's Mom)


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The Autism Society of North Carolina is the leading statewide resource organization serving people across the autism spectrum throughout their lifespans.

We understand the challenges of the autism community because we work with individuals on the autism spectrum and their families every day. We offer advocacy, training and education, and direct care that helps individuals with autism to, increase their social and communication skills, develop independent-living skills, succeed in school or on the job, participate in community activities, and advocate for themselves.

We have a statewide network of resources, connecting individuals with autism and their families to life-changing programs and supports unavailable anywhere else.

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