8 year old asks for donations for autism instead of birthday gifts

By NEWSChannel 2

MOHAWK, N.Y. - Michael Conley of Mohawk, like many 8 year old boys, recently held a party for his birthday. However, unlike many children, the theme of his party was autism awareness.

Michael’s younger brother Shawn recently graduated from the Kelberman Center’s Promise Program for children with autism spectrum disorder, and Michael decided that instead of toys or other gifts for himself, that this year he would collect donations for the Promise Program for his birthday.

The Promise Program is a full-day educational program for preschool children who demonstrate characteristics related to autism spectrum disorders.

In total, Michael donated $300 to the Promise Program, allowing the program to purchase new sensory toys for use by all of the children.

Dr. Jean Jacobson, the Director of Early Childhood Autism Services at the Kelberman Center, commented, “Thank you to Michael and the Conley family for this thoughtful donation. It is wonderful to see a brother and family so connected to the mission of the Promise Program and we appreciate the opportunity to purchase new learning toys for the classroom.”

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