Joey at the aquatic center last year.

With the success of the first annual Joey’s Hope event last year, where we welcomed special guest Council member Steven Neal from the 9th District and CA State Assembly member Isadore Hall, this year the Unconventional Foundation for Autism expects an even bigger turnout.

UF4A plans to continue building on their mission of restoring hope, smiles, and working with healthcare organizations to cover aquatic therapy for children on the autism spectrum, this September 15, at 1pm.

Since our last “Joey’s Hope Aquatic Therapy Event,” Mieko has been the recipient of The Evelyn duPont Community Service Award and received a proclamation from Congressmember Laura Richardson (CA-37) and Los Angeles City LA Supervisor Don Knabe for her participation in bringing more awareness to the Aquatic center.

The  Unconventional Foundation for Autism has launched a campaign that will raise awareness on the growing number of special needs children being denied the proper treatment methods they desperately need. As Autism is at the forefront of the new healthcare coverage Bill SB946, this event will serve as a model outline for healthcare & regional center providers in building criteria for this type of therapy.

The typical cost of an Aquatic Therapy on the average is between $65-$100.00 per session, as a parent dealing with the autism factor, we are finding our cost of living to surpass the current household income that was set in place before the rise of autism with the items parents need on a daily basis.

Mieko and her foundation have placed their efforts to raise awareness and support for families with non-traditional therapies with Aquatic therapy being at the top of their list.

The  Unconventional Foundation for Autism has partnered with The California Aquatic Therapy & Wellness Center, Inc., in Long Beach to allow families and children experience warm water therapy. Aquatic Therapy can promote wellness and improve the quality of life for individuals with health needs in an accessible, warm-water aquatic facility.

Invited guests include Long Beach City officials & Medical Professionals from Kasier Permanente, CIGNA, Aetna, United Healthcare, Blue Cross / Blue Shield and Molina Healthcare organizations.

The Aquatic Center was founded to serve disabled children and has served physically and mentally compromised children for nearly half a century including those afflicted with cerebral palsy, down’s syndrome, spina bifida, autism spectrum disorders, and other physical and developmental challenges.  Since the inception over 45 years ago, The Aquatic Center has provided in excess of one million therapy sessions to improve the lives of children and adults with disabilities.

In 2009, Mieko decided to go public with her son’s success with medical cannabis and was invited on FOX News, The Doctors Show, NBC, CBS, Good Morning America, The Today Show, Australia’s number one morning show and ABC’s 20/20.

Mieko has become a source of inspiration for other mothers and families. Mieko often mentions her own inspiration, Eunice Kennedy as one of her mentors and reasons for starting The Unconventional Foundation for Autism where she has been sharing her son’s story through mainstream media while remaining dedicated to her son and to alternative autism treatments at UF4A.ORG.

Their are still sponsorship opportunities available and everyone is encouraged to participate. For sponsorship inquires & questions, please contact Nicole Dre at Nicole@uf4a.org.