Annual Walk to promote awareness of ASD
The Newaygo County Autism Community (NCAC) will be hosting the 4th annual Walk for Autism on April 28, 2018 at the Fremont High School Football Field. Registration is free and starts at 9:00 a.m. The walk will start at 9:30. Pledges are welcome, but not required. The theme will again be Super Heroes, as we give tribute to the heroes of our community, including law enforcement, firefighters, first responders, EMT's, health care providers, teachers, veterans, and active duty service men and women.
The Walk for Autism is a culmination of autism awareness events throughout the month of April. Fremont’s Mayor Rynberg signed a proclamation declaring April as Autism Awareness Month for the city of Fremont, and the city council allowed blue ribbons to be tied to light posts throughout the city as part of the Light It Up Blue campaign. Numerous businesses throughout the county have joined the effort by "going blue". Look for blue lights, blue window decorations, blue clothing, blue hair and nails, all in support of autism awareness.
Throughout the month of April, schools across the county will show their support for autism awareness in numerous ways, including coloring contests, making posters, door decorating, and video making. NCAC also sponsors an Outstanding Teacher Award, given to a teacher who has helped promote understanding and acceptance of autism throughout the school community.
According to the CDC, 1 in 68 school-aged children in the U.S. have been identified with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ASD occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups, but is about 4.5 times more common among boys than among girls. Locally, there are approximately 150 children in Newaygo County receiving educational services as a student with ASD.
The ultimate goal of the Newaygo County Autism Community is to spread awareness, increase acceptance, and educate the community in the area of autism. Autism not only impacts the individual person identified, but their entire family, as well as extended families, including church, school, health care, and community activities.
NCAC is working with local law enforcement agencies, emergency medical personnel, and the Gerber Spectrum emergency department to develop and support programs and procedures that will improve the level of response to the needs of our community members with ASD in emergency situations.
This past summer NCAC introduced the Newaygo County Safe Swim Academy, a swim program for Newaygo County residents on the autism spectrum. People with autism are often drawn to water; consequently drowning is one of the leading causes of death of individuals with autism. With the prevalence of lakes, ponds, streams, and rivers in Newaygo County, teaching water survival skills is imperative.
As autism continues to impact more people in many different ways, the Newaygo County Autism Community is committed to providing continued awareness, support, and education to all members of our community. We strive to increase the level of compassion and understanding for all whose lives are impacted by autism.
For more information about the Walk for Autism on April 28 go to www.IwalkforAutsim.com.
For more information about the Newaygo County Autism Community find us on Facebook, or go to newaygocountyautismcommunity.org.