Windmill Project to present first-ever autism awareness walk in AlexandriaThe Windmill Project of Alexandria will present the first-ever Autism Awareness Fun Walk.
The Windmill Project of Alexandria will present the first-ever Autism Awareness Fun Walk.
The community is invited to join family members of children with autism disorders from Douglas and other nearby counties on Saturday, April 24 for the walk.
The event will take place from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Discovery Middle School, 501 North McKay Avenue in Alexandria.
Participants will help to increase awareness and raise funds for future educational opportunities and events where families can learn and connect with each other for encouragement and mutual support.
Organizers are requesting a donation of $5 per person (free for those age 5 and younger). Indoor and outdoor routes will be available.
Autism awareness T-shirts will be sold at the Fun Walk and are also available online at www.windmillproject.org.
The public is invited to learn about this puzzling neurological and developmental disorder. Currently, there are no known causes.
Sometimes, those with autism may act in unacceptable ways as the result of overwhelming sensory issues or when they struggle to communicate, according to Gail Kulp from The Windmill Project.
Kulp noted that some people with autism are very detail-oriented, highly intelligent or have special gifts as artists, musicians and inventors.
She encourages community members to attend the first-ever Autism Awareness Fun Walk to find out how communities can benefit from the skills, insight and determination of people who have autism.
For additional details, call (320) 763-9228 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Advance registration for the walk is encouraged, but not required.
DID YOU KNOW?
The following was written by Nikki Golden of Alexandria, a parent of a child with autism.
•Autism – you probably know someone whose life is affected by autism. It may be an employee, a former classmate or a relative. Autism is a puzzling neurological and developmental disorder found in one of 110 children. In Alexandria School District 206 alone, there are 46 students classified under the Autism Spectrum Disorder receiving special educational services in the public school system. That number is steadily climbing. More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with diabetes, cancer or AIDS combined.
•Unique – there are no two individuals that are the same on the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and this is why it is hard to find a cure. Something that works for one child may not work for another. The best help you can offer children with ASD is early intervention. Finding different ways to communicate is important for their success. It may be picture cards, sign language or many other forms of communication specific to their individual abilities. By breaking the communication barrier, it can allow us to learn from their incredible minds and talents.
•Talented – There are many famous people in our past and present that are now thought to be classified with ASD. A few names you may recognize include Bill Gates, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and even Steven Spielberg and Temple Grandin. Obviously, these people are considered geniuses in their fields or areas of interests. Their talents that they gave us changed the world today as we know it.
•Impact – individuals on the ASD have the ability to impact everyone who they come across in their life; and will leave a mark in your heart.
•Senses – the five common senses, see, hear, touch, smell and taste, are more extreme for people with ASD. It may cause them to act in ways that seem peculiar to you or inappropriate. Often, they may go into sensory overload due to their brain not being able to filter and all the senses coming together at once.
•Meaningful – the most meaningful piece of the puzzle that I can share with you is to please be patient as everyone who is affected by autism is doing the best they can. Respect them as we are on the journey together on this path called autism. Realize that our differences are not as great as the things we have in common.