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Lindsay’s Story

Mark Olson, founder of LTO Ventures, recently shared his heartfelt story of his daughter Lindsay.  LTO Ventures is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit company that develops live/work/play communities for adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

I adopted my daughter Lindsay at age 2 with my now ex-wife 16 years ago from an orphanage in an industrial fishing village in the southern tip of Vietnam. We had only a minimal medical dossier, and a handful of Polaroids before we made the trip to get her. But we had tried unsuccessfully every other way to have a child, so we celebrated that day like a birth.

Over the next months and years, the depth of Lindsay’s challenges revealed themselves. Grand mal seizures. No verbal communication. Aggressive behaviors. Finding the right school setting. Striking the balance of meds that would help, but not hurt.  By 2007 my ex wanted no more, and Lindsay and I found ourselves on our own new journey together.

But I’m 38 years older than her and as much as I like to believe that I’m immortal, I realized I needed a Plan B. So in 2009, I researched the options for the kind of life could Lindsay have when I’m gone. There were and are some very good options, but not many and all had waiting lists. And funding was insufficient, hard to get, and shrinking.

So with what I knew of her desires and aspirations, cognizant of her abilities and potential, and armed with mountains of research, a vision for an ideal life for her and our live/work/ play community model was formed. In 2010, I founded a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation to make it a reality and named it after her.  LTO = Lindsay Thu Loan Olson

Today, Nov. 1st, Lindsay turns 18. She is now one of the more than 50,000 kids with autism who reach adulthood every year. And our adventure continues.  We’d like your help. Making the LTO Ventures vision a reality takes money.  Please visit the DONATE page [here] of our website and use one of the methods we provide to make a donation of $18, $50, $100 or any amount to help us develop residences, jobs and social and recreational activities for hundreds of adults with autism like Lindsay. Thank you.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.familiesspeakingup.com/2013/11/05/lindsays-story/

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