Autism Speaks: Acts of Love

Last week I was lucky enough to attend Acts of Love: Parenthood, a wonderful benefit and award ceremony for Autism Speaks. Some of the actors from the show Parenthood performed along with John Doe on the acoustic guitar.

There were many touching and funny essays during the performance at Creative Artists Agency, but the one that struck me most was read by Mary McDonnell (Claire in Grand Canyon). It was about the mother of a grown son with autism. The character talked about her son and failed marriage, but when she was asked about herself, she paused. She said something about how there was no her. It was taken up by caring for other people.

That struck me because it’s so true with many women I know, especially those who are dealing with more than just your average frustrations of being a mother, including having kids with autism and childhood illness.

Jason Katims, the creator of Parenthood, touched on part of that theme a bit when he accepted The Acts of Love Awareness Award. His son has Aspergers and was the inspiration for a character on the show. Katims said he almost wrote the character out because it was taking over the pilot. He said when “Autism comes into your home, it’s rarely a C story… Like in life, it’s an A story.”

He also said that the night the pilot aired “Aspergers” was the most searched word on Google.

Parenthood is one of the few shows I’m watching these days so it was amazing to see some of the cast perform live including Lauren Graham, Peter Krause, Craig T. Nelson, and Max Burkholder who plays Max on the show.

Almost as amazing was meeting Olivia Munn of the Daily Show. She was very nice and genuine. I went to the benefit with Elise of Elise’s Ramblings and we chatted up Stacy Citron who was just on the reality show Thintervention and Jessica Lowndes of 90210.

Acts of Love also had a silent auction to benefit Autism Speaks and Elise and I bid on tickets to the premiere of Burlesque. And we won!!! We get to go see Cher!! Stanley Tucci!! Christina Aguilera!! and Alan Cumming!!

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