Ambassador of the Week
Each week of April, we will be highlighting an “Ambassador of the Week” for their exceptional work in raising awareness and building acceptance. Read Eddie's inspirational story:
Week 1: April 1st through 7th
Eddie Lin, The Au-Some Balloon Creator, Edison, NJ
We asked Eddie's Mom, Jenny Lin, to tell us about Eddie and his autism awareness activities.
Tell us a Little about Eddie:
Eddie is a middle child who has a loving older sister, Cindy, and a caring younger brother, Jim. His siblings are his best peer support; though always understanding, they challenge him to do his best and never expect anything less from Eddie because he has autism. He was diagnosed with autism at age 3. Since then, he has been in out of district placement school from the ages four to six at Bright Beginning Learning Center, where he made tremendous progress. He was then eventually transitioned back to the Edison district at age six. Eddie is currently a student in Edison High School’s Language and Learning Disabilities (LLD) program, where he has shown amazing growth, with the support and understanding of the students and faculty in Edison HS.
He is known for being a mild tempered, pure-hearted young man who loves life and is known for living life with open arms and a contagious smile. When he was 10, balloon art struck a deep chord in his heart and has since grown into an expressive passion to him and gift to his community.
How He is Spreading Autism Awareness
As a balloon artist, he is known as the “Ausome Balloon Creator.” In all his printed materials (eg. business cards, his bio and pamphlets), we explain why the pun “Au-Some” was chosen. The "Au-" stands for his unique autism trait and we encourage people who read about him to learn more about autism from reputable websites, such as www.autismnj.org.
Inspired by Eddie’s uniqueness, his older sister decided she wanted her peers to experience and better understand people who have disabilities. From a young age, she recognized that Eddie’s quirks were not symptoms, but part of who he was. Cindy started an annual holiday party for special needs students in Edison to raise autism awareness. This is one of the first places Eddie shared his balloon talent with the community. Now, every year Eddie continues to share his passion at this event. He is a true ambassador -- a bridge between high school students and pupils with special needs and autism. Since then, any amount of money raised during public events goes to an autism-related support group. The high school volunteers who participated in the event all walked away with rewarding feelings and a better understanding of autism.
Eddie has done couple autism awareness charity events this year. On April 25, he will be doing another charity event for Autism NJ Swim-a-Thon sponsored by MRESC Aquatics and Fitness Center in Parlin. The goal is to raise at least $5,000 for Autism NJ. So far they are half way there. Eddie is honored to be a part of the special event that holds the cause closest to his heart.
Wishes for Eddie:
We (the Lin family) wish Eddie will continue to make progress in all aspects of his life. We wish he will continue to embrace life with love and always can warm a person’s heart with his big smile and his special non-scripted greeting. We are thankful that he has this talent in balloon art. We hope he can be an independent adult later on with this trait, and continue to give back to the community as he has been doing right now.
We are all ambassadors:
Jenny notes, "Eddie is where he is today, because along the journey there are so many hard working doctors, teachers, therapists who went above and beyond to embrace and support him. While Autism NJ recognizes Eddie as the Autism Ambassador, I really want to thank everyone who made it possible for who he is today. I hope through my writing, that message is there. It does take a village to raise a kid, let alone a person who has unique traits of autism."
Autism New Jersey is celebrating its 50th year. What three words would you use to describe us?
Believing • Transcendence • Purpose
Click here to see other Ambassadors highlighted this year.
Eddie Lin Recognized by Edison Board of Education