AAoM and Niklas Kronwall
Autism Alliance of Michigan (AAoM) Partners with Detroit Red Wings’ Niklas Kronwall
Niklas Kronwall, defenseman for the Detroit Red Wings has donated tickets for each remaining home game to families living with autism identified through AAoM’s partner organizations. Home games allow families like one family from the Oakwood Health Systems, Center for Exceptional Families, to enjoy the experience of a Red Wings game at the Joe Louis Arena.
Kronwall was turned onto AAoM after hearing new addition to the awareness and safety training, Anthony Ianni, speak. Ianni is a recent Michigan State University graduate and basketball player who has been traveling the state sharing his story about overcoming the challenges he faced as a child in school and now as an adult. He speaks of a need for acceptance, understanding, and eliminating bullying of those with autism. While bullying occurs throughout schools, those with autism are often bullied more frequently than those without the disorder, due to the many social challenges experienced by these children.
Kronwall, who recently heard Ianni share his story stated, “I was moved by his message; the struggles and how much he has been able to accomplish in his life. I am ready to give back to this community and can think of no better organization to target my own efforts around awareness and acceptance than the Autism Alliance of Michigan”.
Dr. Colleen Allen, President and CEO of AAoM, stated, “Niklas’ compassion for persons with autism is commendable. We are honored that he is committed to spreading awareness of this challenging disorder on behalf of AAoM. His high profile status in our community will go a long way towards reaching those who may not understand autism through awareness and education, facilitating our efforts at community integration of persons with autism.”
The Autism Alliance of Michigan is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to lead statewide collaborative efforts across public and private entities to improve the lives of persons living with autism in our state. Current initiatives address access to effective, timely interventions for children with autism, adult employment and housing issues, and community wide integration efforts through awareness and safety trainings for first responders, retailers, parks and recreation, schools, and many other community workers.