John Maloney, an autism activist worked with state law makers to attempt to change the way schools and insurance companies worked with children with autism.
He was found dead in his residence in western Henrico and police claim it to be due to an accident. His well wishers express their condolence as he extended help and concern for various community projects.
Teresa Champion, Virginia Autism Project President said, "All of us in the Autism community in Virginia and at Virginia Autism Project (VAP) are devastated to learn that John Maloney, an autism warrior dad, died suddenly."
"John was a tour de force for autism families. So many of us moved in and out of each other's lives over the years and he was always present and always engaged. Under his and other's leadership, VAP and Autism Speaks ensured the autism insurance law passed. Then when it came time to expand the age cap, he was engaged for that process also which just passed this last legislative session."
Maloney, a Collegiate School graduate, helped to start Open Gym, a Sunday afternoon activity for kids with autism at his former school. Collegiate School spokeswoman Elizabeth Cogar said, "[Open Gym is a] Sunday afternoon activity where our students are buddies with kids with autism and they do various sports activities. As a parent of an autistic child, John recognized the need for more physical activity and that's what gave him this idea."
"John was the heart and soul of the program, working with our students to help them understand autism better and encouraging the families they worked with. He will be missed greatly," Cogar added.