Archived Story

Autism walk aims to send child to camp

Published 11:22am Thursday, April 18, 2013

About one in 88 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder according to estimates from the Center for Disease Control. As part of Autism Awareness Month, an upcoming event is geared to send at least one of those children to Camp ASCCA.

“I’m always looking for something to do for people,” said Mix it Up! at Lake Martin owner Wendy Hodge, who organized the event. “I’ve got friends with kids with autism, and I just wanted to put a face to it.”

The Autism Walk/Run is set for April 28 at 2 p.m. with a special presentation to follow at 4 p.m. The walk around the square in downtown Dadeville is $5. The 5K costs $10. All funds raised go to Camp ASCCA.

“I think it’s an excellent idea,” said Dana Rickman with Camp ASCCA. “We really appreciate Wendy and her staff and volunteers.”

It costs $695 to send a child to one of Camp ASCCA’s camps.

“We have many campers that have some form of autism,” Rickman said. “People with autism react in a variety of ways in different settings … We have a lot of campers that do very well and open up a lot (at camp).”

Hodge said they have already had people bringing in donations for the cause.

“We’ve got a good community,” Hodge said. “People want to help.”

The presentation to follow the walk/run will be by one of Hodges’ employees, who works at Camp ASCCA in the summer.

“She’s going to do a little presentation of helping family members … that have autism,” Hodge said.

Rickman said camp provides a way for children to come out of their shells, which also goes for children with autism, many of whom try new foods or step outside their comfort zones during camp. She recalled one child with autism who had a reaction when he tried the zip line that was unfamiliar to the staff but recognized by his caretaker.

“She said it was the first time she had seen him smile in about eight years,” Rickman said. “Things like that happen at camp all the time.”

People who want to participate in the walk/run can register prior to the event at Mix it Up! at Lake Martin.

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