Charlie’s Gift Center for Autism and Related Disorders > Who is Charlie?

Who is Charlie?

We are frequently asked, “Who’s Charlie?”  The inspiration for our program comes from Charlie, a character in the book, “What is Autism” , written from the perspective of Charlie’s  Sister.  Charlie represents every child who struggles with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Sensory Processing Dysfunction, and Related Disorders.  The girl who tells Charlie’s story in the book helps us all realize the challenges and gifts faced by the child and his family every day.

The purpose of this book is to build awareness for  Autism and the effects it has on families and friends,  how vital early detection is, and how essential treatment and support is to the future of these children and their families.   Charlie’s greatest hope, and his family’s too, is get the services and support necessary to promote the child’s social, behavioral, and communication development, and he needs this starting today!

About the Author/Illustrator

Gene Madarino is the author of “What is Autism” and  one of the founders of Charlie’s Gift Autism Center which derives its name from the character in the book that Gene lovingly wrote .  Gene wrote “What is Autism” after his two grandchildren were diagnosed.  He quickly realized that Autism needed more awareness – awareness of the heartbreak it causes kids, siblings, family and friends.

Gene says, “Charlie’s story is a story about every child who struggles with Autism.  This includes my two grandchildren, Lainey and Louie.  It’s about the life they all live and the challenges they face everyday.  They are the real authors.  I am only the typist.”

Heartfelt thanks to Johanna and Mitchell Vernick and Dr. Debra Mandarino for their enthusiasm and unwavering support.

To obtain a copy of the book, “What Is Autism“, please contact us at 630-810-1200.

You Can Help!

Donate today to help Charlie’s Gift and The Community House continue to provide comprehensive services for children and families facing Autism, Sensory Processing conerns and related disorders.