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Houston Texans

Schaub and Green launch "Houston Tackles Autism"


Schaub and Green accept the first and largest donation so far to their autism campaign.

Texans running back Ahman Green and quarterback Matt Schaub joined forces Tuesday with Easter Seals, the leading nonprofit provider of services for people with autism, to launch the new campaign, "Houston Tackles Autism."

Both players spoke to an audience gathered at Avondale House, a 30-year Houston organization benefiting autism, pledging to team with sponsors to raise $1 million to provide autism diagnosis and treatment for Houston families.

"I wasn't aware of the problem it (autism) was becoming until I started to research it and learn more about it," Schaub said. "Anything we can do, we're going to do to help the kids recognize the early onset, so that they can get into the programs in the early stages of development so they can be successful."

Many Houston families have to wait nearly a year to receive an autism diagnosis for their child. Without a diagnosis, children miss out on the critical benefits of receiving early treatment programs provided by organizations such as Easter Seals and Avondale House.

Green, who has been working with Easter Seals since 2004, said he learned firsthand the need for early autism diagnosis when his 26-year-old niece recently received a diagnosis for autism.

"I just found out this last summer that it's also affecting my family," Green said. "One of my nieces that I knew for years was diagnosed with it. So it's a good thing what we're doing here."

After the players spoke, Silver Eagle Distributors agreed to pledge $2500 for each touchdown pass Schaub throws or end zone line Green crosses.

The quarterback earned the first contribution with his 77-yard touchdown throw in the Texans' 20-3 win over Kansas City. And now Schaub's even more motivated to run up the Texans' scoreboard.

"With the $2500-a-score, we're going to try to score as many touchdowns as we can," Schaub said. "I think that once the media catches on to the campaign and the program and what all goes into it, I think they're going to be very supportive. I think we'll hit that million-dollar mark pretty easily."

Schaub and Green ended the afternoon by spending time with the children who receive residential and educational services at Avondale House. The players got a sense of fulfillment from signing autographs and posing for pictures.

"You see who you help," Green said. "You see how easy it is to put a smile on their faces. Now when I walk across that end zone line or I see Matt throw a touchdown pass, I know what it's for."

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