The numbers are staggering, including one in 59 children born with some form of autism – but fortunately, efforts to tackle the problem are as plentiful as a Saturday walk in Mount Airy shows.
Event Director Bridget Soots In anticipation of the seventh annual Surry Walk for Autism, it was difficult to find a number for the crowd that filled Riverside Park.
"I'll just say thousands," Soots said finally as he watched the gathering prior to the trek along the Ararat River Greenway – a show of unity and support highlighted by teams named after local teenagers with autism ,
About 2,200 people had officially registered, including the purchase of blue T-shirts showed more Saturday without shirts, which also wanted to support the cause.
"Wow, look at all the blues," Soots said from a stage during a pre-walk program.
The support shown on Saturday not only manifested itself in terms of massive numbers of people, but raised dollars for autism needs in Surry County, including additional training for teachers to better deal with autistic students.
"We're at $ 60,000 at the moment," said Soots Saturday morning, with
Perhaps as important as the money was the chance the Surry Walk offered for autism ̵
"There is a growing number," Soots told about Spectrum Disorder Autism, averaging every 20 minutes Child is diagnosed.
"In the state of North Carolina, it's more common than other states," added the 2108-way director of autism, a brain disorder that affects communication, social interaction and behavior. It affects the ability to understand what is seen, heard and otherwise perceived, with boys having a greater tendency to be autistic than girls.
"It's her day to come together," said Soots about hard times facing families concerned with autism. "Autism is estimated to cost each family more than $ 1.5 million over the lifetime of a loved one.
" We're coming together to be together and show our support, "added Soots, which included reassuring afflicted families that they are not alone and that someone is taking care of them.
Blake Dollyhite, a resident of Blue Hollow Road, wore a Team Wyatt t-shirt, named after Dollyhite's 3-year-old brother with autism, Wyatt was under The attendee, said his older brother, who thought "being involved" was important to Wyatt.
In addition to crossing the greenway, attendees had the opportunity to visit information and sales outlets representing a total of 41 organizations.
These included facilities that provide services to the autistic population, including Behavioral Services Inc .; the TEACCH autism program of the University of No rth Carolina, with this acronym for children with communication disabilities; Surry County Schools; and the Autism Society of North Carolina, from which the Surry chapter promoted the Saturday walk.
Reason for hope
There was a carnival atmosphere on the grounds of the city park, which included music by DJ and DJ, several speakers offering their observations on autism
The general message seemed to be that the rest of society understands what is going on and is committed.
Emily Sumy, director of the Exceptional Children's Program at Surry County Schools, told the crowd how this program has partnered with the Surry Autism Society for more than five years.
During this period, the proceeds from the hike have resulted in $ 60,000 plus being injected into the school program to pay for special training cooperation for teachers to cater to the special needs of autistic adolescents. This includes ways to keep them active and engaged.
"We greatly value the Autism Society for helping us make better use of our capabilities," said Sumy.
The bargaining also includes parenting, short-term care for families, assistance to those in need of medical care, and allowing local autistic individuals to attend a summer camp.
Soots, the event director, said that one of the purposes Saturday stressed from the standpoint of public awareness is that the former Autist children are treated the better their situation becomes later in life.
Also in the area, companies are focused on autism awareness, including Jonesville-based Phillips-Van Heusen (PVH), where Tammy Singletary works. 19659002] In addition to being honored as the mother of an autistic son, Cadyn, 7, a Singletary-led team sold most of the T-shirts of each participating group, 181. In addition to sponsorship contributions From a number of companies, shirt sales were a major part of fundraising for the walk.
"They are all about supporting many different (charities)," said Singletary of PVH. This included Saturday's event, which employees liked to support by purchasing T-shirts or the Walk team, which Singletary considered remarkable for their "minority status".
"I'm the only parent who works there, a child with autism," she explained, which did not deter the support of corporate representatives and others. "They just love Cadyn."
The city government of Mount Airy was represented on Saturday by Commissioner Jim Armbrister, who read a communal summon in honor of the special day.
"I urge all our citizens to join in the fight" A remedy for autism, "said Armmbrister of the Assembly.
A special speaker for the program also offered the perspective of a young man with autism who turned up DJ Svoboda, a motivational speaker from Cary, who has been attending the Mount Airy event for five years.
Svoboda, also an artist and author of three books, is known for his work as a DJ the creator of "The Imagifriends of Imagiville," based on experiences he grew up with and lived with autism.
"Those with autism of all ages just want to be valued for who they are," enthused Svoboda Crowd.
A blue ribbon meanders along the Ararat River Greenway Saturday in Mount Airy, while thousands of people attend the 2018 Surry Walk for Autism.
Motivational Speake During the event on Saturday, artist and author DJ Svoboda of Cary illustrates that autism has not stopped him from being a success.
Blake Dollyhite wears a "Team Wyatt" T-shirt that represents his 3-year-old brother with autism gathers to a pre-walk program with multiple speakers.
Commissioner Jim Armbrister of Mount Airy reads a city proclamation in honor of the event.
Pam Padgett of Behavioral Services Inc. plunges her hands into a "Sensory Beads" container along with David Jeffries, 6, who enjoy one of Saturday's attractions.
Local Girl Scouts sell fruit, baked goods, and other items donated by Panera Bread to raise funds for the autism gait.
Tom Joyce can be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.