John Schneider, Seahawks raise money for autism

Apr 20, 2012, 9:51 AM | Updated: 9:55 am

By Liz Mathews

Just one week before the start of the 2012 NFL draft, Seahawks general manager John Schneider put his scouting reports aside for a special cause: autism.

Schneider, head coach Pete Carroll and over 30 Seahawks coaches, players and alumni gathered at El Gaucho restaurant in Bellevue for the first annual “Prime Time” celebrity waiter event. All proceeds from the evening will provide the monetary assistance needed to launch “Ben’s Fund,” a partnership to benefit Families for Effective Autism Treatment (FEAT) of Washington.

FEAT, a non-profit organization, assists families in the community with children who fall within the autism spectrum by developing programming to help them reach their full potential.

John-Schneider
John Schneider

Schneider’s son, Ben, is one of those children.

Now 10, Ben was just over a year old when Schneider and his wife, Traci, began to notice the initial symptoms of autism.

“He wouldn’t point to things, he wouldn’t talk back to us, we could say his name a hundred times and he would never look at us or respond,” Traci Schneider told MyNorthwest.com’s Josh Kerns earlier in April. “He didn’t want to interact with us, he didn’t socialize with other kids his age. And then his temper tantrums kicked in.”

Fortunate enough to have been able to find help for their son, the Schneiders now hope to provide the same to other families in need through “Ben’s Fund.” According to the grant page of the FEAT website, “the intent of establishing ‘Ben’s Fund’ at FEAT of Washington is twofold: to not only provide grants to families to help them obtain services for their children on the spectrum, but also to drive families to FEAT so they will be connected to a larger community to receive ongoing guidance and assistance as they continue their journey with autism.”

“The one thing that drew us to them [FEAT] is because we didn’t have that organization when our son was diagnosed,” Traci Schneider said Thursday before the event. “We didn’t have somebody to turn to say, ‘What should we be doing? What avenues should we be going down? What are the things that can help him?’ We just kind of had to do it on our own. And that’s not a unique story; there’s a lot of families that have to do this on their own, which is why we wanted to partner up with FEAT.”

Now in his third season with the Seahawks, Schneider said that when he moved to the area he had met families in the Seattle community who had worked with FEAT and experienced success and improvement with their children.

“So there’s a lot of hope and a lot of really neat things going on, but there’s a long, long road ahead of us for helping these children and helping people in the community understand these children,” Schneider said. “The understanding of the [autism] spectrum is huge, it’s a puzzle. Hopefully we can start raising the awareness and research starts coming along. So Traci and I are involved a little bit with the research, but more so we want to be on the family side of it — the siblings, the parents — and help them out as much as we possibly could.”

Finishing his sentence, Traci said, “Because we know what that’s like.”

If you were unable to attend the event and would still like to donate, you can do so through FEAT’s website.

Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks Jamal Adams...
Brent Stecker

How missing Jamal Adams has thrown Seahawks’ defense for a loop

Brock Huard explains why something that K.J. Wright pointed out about the impact of Jamal Adams missing from the Seahawks' defense jumps out.
2 days ago
Seahawks Lions...
Brandon Gustafson

Lions without top offensive playmakers Swift, St. Brown vs Seahawks

The Lions will be without their two best weapons on offense when they take on the Seahawks in a Week 4 showdown in Detroit on Sunday.
2 days ago
Seahawks Tyler Lockett...
Stacy Rost

What to know about Seahawks and their Week 4 clash with Detroit

What should you know ahead of the Seahawks' matchup with Detroit? Stacy Rost breaks down what stood our from The Huddle this week.
2 days ago
Seahawks Pete Carroll...
Brandon Gustafson

Pete Carroll Preview: Getting the Seahawks’ defense right vs Lions

Heading into his team's matchup with the Detroit Lions, Seahawks HC Pete Carroll is looking for improvement from Seattle's defense.
2 days ago
Seahawks Boye Mafe...
Brandon Gustafson

K.J. Wright: Why, how Seahawks should play Boye Mafe more

Seahawks legend K.J. Wright thinks Seattle needs to be playing rookie LB Boye Mafe more going forward, especially on early downs.
3 days ago
Seahawks Quandre Diggs...
The Associated Press

Seahawks’ Quandre Diggs thankful for time in Detroit ahead of return

Looking back on how his career started and the opportunity that was given has only strengthened the feelings Seahawks safety Quandre Diggs has for the Detroit Lions.
3 days ago
John Schneider, Seahawks raise money for autism