Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

PUTTING THE BRAKES ON AUTISM

Here lies the question; why is an automotive article being featured in a body and health portion of a newspaper and talking about of all things “AUTISM?”

I am here to tell you that for the last 11 years, Gregg’s Automotive has driven to educate the public and at the same time to take a stand against Autism.

Autism is probably one of the most misunderstood and misdiagnosed illness in America. This is coming from me, Gregg Marrapodi, not from some clinical survey, just from what I have witnessed in my life.

The odds of having an Autistic child in this century, in this year 2017, is an astounding 1 in 64. This number is crazy, given all of the scientific progress that has accumulated in the last decade. We can diagnose breast cancer through genealogy, before it is even a threat, we can prevent heart attacks by monitoring calcium deposits in our blood stream well before our first heart attack.

Yet somehow Autism sneaks past us. Mention Autism and the first image to come forth is Dustin Hoffman, playing the part of Rainman, the “Idiot Savant” that could count cards in any Casino, whose affliction with Judge Wopner was comical release. In all seriousness that is just one form of Autism, he was functional, there are so many degrees of this syndrome it is just frightening.

As with any debilitating syndromes there is the need and the desire to educate and to mainstream these children and young adults so that they can function either on their own or in group homes. Being handicapped does not mean you are stupid or unable to learn, you just have to be taught a little differently.

Enter the ESE program in the public school system. ESE classes are for these students that have to be taught differently. Sometimes for physical issues sometimes for mental issues that may be slowing them down or because they are so hyper vigilant that they learn so much faster than the average child.

These teachers are a special breed, they have to be to cope with varying types of difficulties all at the same time. To do this these class rooms or quiet rooms have to be specially equipped and due to funding cuts they are not being able to be up to snuff. Many times these teachers reach into their own pocket to resupply their classrooms.

There is a charity in Charlotte County called Harbour Heights Charities that exclusively funds these classes. They have built the quiet rooms in multiple schools at a cost of over $20,000.00 each. The money they collect stays within the county and the charity has a 97% dispersal average. This means for every dollar collected $.97 is given to the schools.

Gregg’s Automotive is proud to have been a partner with this charity for the last 11 years. Our way of giving and supporting them is our FREE BRAKES campaign every October.

We partner up with Napa Auto Parts and provide a set of their premium brake pads or shoes to anyone that needs brakes for free. No small print no catch. That is usually a savings of very close to $100.00 per job. All of the regular labor and other parts needed are at our usual competitive prices but the pads or shoes are absolutely free. Then at the end of the month we add up all of the money that we took in on brake work and we cut a check to the charity for 10% of that number. Last year we gave them a check for $1200.00. This year my goal is to write that check for $2000.00.

In the last decade this charity has invested over $300,000.00 in the schools. This money does not go to the school board it goes directly into the class rooms.

So this October if you and anyone you may know needs brakes call us at 941-575-8868 and help us “PUT THE BRAKES ON AUTISM!”