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Seahawks GM, wife expand outreach for young people with autism

John and Traci Schneider started Ben's Fund after their son was diagnosed with autism at age three. Ben is now thriving at 17.

RENTON, Wash. — As we approach the end of Autism Awareness Month, we're taking a moment to see what one organization is doing to help families across Washington.

Traci Schneider has been on a mission ever since her son Ben was diagnosed with autism at age three. Not only has she had to advocate for her son, but she has also been helping other Washington families raising kids with Autism.

It also doesn't hurt that her husband, John Schneider, is the general manager of the Seattle Seahawks. 

The two have incredible access and have used it to help raise more than $4.25 million through Ben's Fund, an organization that gives grants to families across the state.

Ben is now thriving at 17. Advocating for him made Traci realize that young people also need help transitioning into adulthood. Now Ben's Fund has started helping young adults ages 19 to 23 transition into the next phase of their lives.

"What does that next step look like for them? There are a lot of unknowns, a lot of 'what do we do and how do we support them and how do we get them in the right job, or doing the right things and out in our community and being accepted?' There are so many pieces to that puzzle," Schneider said. 

Ben's Fund can help by offering grants to help young people in education, job training, life or social skills.