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Going To Bat For Adults With Autism

The mother of an autistic son realizes there are few services for adults living with autism, and acts to change the status quo.

Posted August 15, 2011 by Drew Anne Scarantino

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Linda Walder Fiddle
Linda Walder Fiddle, The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation, Ridgewood.
Photo by John Emerson.

As the mother of a young child with autism, Linda Walder Fiddle, 52, often thought about the uncertainty of her son, Danny’s, future. “I realized there were few, if any, services for adults living with autism,” she says.

When Danny died unexpectedly in 2000 at age nine, Walder Fiddle did not walk away from the problem. In 2002, the Ridgewood resident founded the Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation (DJfiddlefoundation.org), the first national organization specifically for adults living with autism.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of children diagnosed with autism has increased by 600 percent in the past 20 years, creating a generation of young adults whose needs today far exceed the resources available. “The common misconception is that autism is a childhood disorder,” Walder Fiddle says.

The DJF Foundation not only funds but also co-develops programs for adults living with autism and their families. These are designed to be replicable by grassroots communities nationwide. Since its inception, DJF Foundation has launched more than 100 such programs. These include a support group for senior citizens living with autism, developed with the New York City-based Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership, and a hotline and resource guide developed with the Jewish Association for Developmental Disabilities in Bergen County.

“She’s so different from other foundations that write a check and walk away,” says Linda Mann, a colleague from Walder Fiddle’s past life as a public relations executive turned attorney.

“Parents and individuals [with autism] should have a great adult life,” Walder Fiddle says. “That’s what I wanted for my son, and if I can help other people get my wish, that’s wonderful for me.”

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If you like this article please share it.

Seeds of Hope Awards

Linda Walder Fiddle and The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation are helping to create better lives for adults living with Autism Spectrum Disorders. She is an inspiring social entrepreneur whose creative vision continues to shed light on the "aging face of autism"

Posted by: Linda Mann, New York City | Aug 23, 2011 21:44:43 PM |

Linda Walder Fiddle

She truly is an inspiration

Posted by: Dan Cotto, Hackensack | Aug 24, 2011 12:27:32 PM |

daugther with autism

daugther is an adult can not get help,or information to help.

Posted by: bobbie stozicki, whitwell,tn. | Dec 02, 2011 18:08:27 PM |

Adult programs

I would like to establish a program for adults with autism in my community as we have nothing after school ends. could anyone advise me how to begin?

Posted by: Julie Dickerson, Jackson, Michigan | Apr 03, 2012 01:44:41 AM |

SW Florida needs an Autistic Adult Group Home,

Just two years ago, one of the nurses in management here in my town had to move her family "up north" to find help for adult daughter with autism who is 21, since we have nothing in our area and the waiting list is incredible. There is story after story of people moving away to get help. There is no help once they graduate from Oak Park School at 21. Is there anyone that can help our community?

Posted by: Lisa Bruegger, Sarasota, Florida | Oct 21, 2012 22:41:52 PM |

Mariposa Village

Good morning Linda,
Mariposa Village now has it’s own Facebook page. Please visit us and "Like" our page. See link below. Happy holidays.


Mariposa is a live, work, play community for the adult D/D population. If you are interested in hearing much more about our phenominal progress since May, please contact me via email
wwjustsayitnow@aol.com or phone (H)305-253-5026 (C) 305-281-3905. We are already involved with Easter Seals, Madison House Autism Foundation and our local SCORE chptr.
Hope to hear from you. Have a good day.
David A. Williams

Posted by: David A. Williams, Cutler Bay, Fla. 33189 | Dec 09, 2013 16:16:18 PM |

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