“I am now unafraid to share who I am.”

Why Mark Gives

We want to share Mark’s incredible journey with you. Watch the video to learn about how he came to AANE, and how we have made a difference in his life.

If AANE has made a difference in your life, or the lives of your loved ones, please join Mark in supporting AANE. Click the button below to make your gift.

Read Mark’s Message

My name is Mark Marroni, and I am the parent of an Autistic daughter. She has welcomed her neurodivergence and has grown with the support of family, friends, and AANE, the Association for Autism and Neurodiversity. In AANE’s programs and services, she found the acceptance, community, and guidance that has helped her thrive.

What most people don’t know is that I am Autistic as well. I hid my neurodivergence for years. I learned to mask and deflect in order to live and work within an otherwise neurotypical world. While it got me through the day, especially the work day, masking was mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausting.

As a parent, I was a regular participant in AANE’s groups, workshops, and conferences. Over the years, the staff who guided us earned our trust. When I began to see myself in what I was learning about autism, it was the staff at AANE who suggested I pursue an evaluation. The sense of acceptance, community, and trust I experienced at AANE gave me the confidence and the courage to get a diagnosis.

With my diagnosis came a tremendous sense of relief, and a powerful new self-knowledge. And since then, AANE has been instrumental in connecting me to other Autistic adults. Their friendship and perspective has helped me to embrace my differences. I am now unafraid to share who I am with friends, family, clients, and co-workers.

I have gotten more involved with AANE over the years and am now on their Board of Directors. At every level—as a parent, an Autistic adult diagnosed late in life, and a Board member—I have personally seen the life-changing impact this community has made for so many Autistic people.

At this time of year, AANE reaches out to you for support. If AANE has helped you or your family, or if you believe it can help a friend or a loved one, please join me in making a gift to sustain their life-changing work. Thank you so, so, so much.

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