Steve Mauldin, president and general manager of CBS11/TXA 21 in Dallas, Texas, founded Stephanie's Day 10 years ago, in honor of his daughter, Stephanie, who has autism.
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Autism Event: Stephanie's Day Steve Mauldin: Well there’s a lot o people that need to know what’s going on for their kids and we’re all here to try to make it better for them. Host: Steve Mauldin started Stephanie’s Day 10 years ago. Steve Mauldin: Whether it’s baby sitting or legal help or just knowing where there are other parents that are dealing with similar problems, I think you're going to find them at Stephanie’s Day. Host: The event is named after Steve daughter Stephanie who is diagnosed with autism when she was two years old. Steve Mauldin: I don’t care what your job is, what your position is, what -- where you are in life all of a sudden it’s a level playing field. Host: Frustration about the lack of information available to families like his own is what inspired the event. Steve Mauldin: Every year somebody comes up to me and say’s “You know what this event has made our life better.” Host: For Stephanie the day is a chance to play games and meet new friends and for Steve its’ a chance to share information that’s improved his daughters life. Steve Mauldin: I would say it’s a success if one family connected with a service or an agency that made their life and their child life better. Dr. Travis Stork: Welcome Stephanie’s Day founder and Stephanie’s proud father Steve Mauldin. Steve Mauldin: Thank you. Dr. Travis Stork: This event is so cool because all the services that you're offering to families and children that have never had this opportunity before, tell us about those. Steve Mauldin: Well first being a parent of a special needs child is such a challenge. I don’t what your resources are and just finding a baby sitter to go out for the evening is a major challenge and if you come to Stephanie’s Day you're going to find the baby sitting service that can take care of that need, not to mention other needs that you talked about advocacy. We need advocates in school for our children to support them and that’s what you’ll find in Stephanie’s Day. And she’s the hostess, and she meets and greets everybody there but it’s about those families and their challenges the challenges that all of us have dealt with as parents. And all those out there who may have fewer resources than we do, that’s what this event is all about, to help them. Dr. Jim Sears: You know there’s a Harvard study that showed I think parents on average will spend about $50,000.00 a year helping their child with autism. Steve Mauldin: We’ve never one ounce of financial support. Dr. Travis Stork: And what I love about Stephanie’s Day is when you make comments any of you all everyone is nodding because now you have a team of people to talk too who understand. When you said it’s hard to get a baby sitter, each and every one of you nodded in agreement.