Raising Autism Awareness
Wednesday, April 6th, 2016
The month of April is dedicated to celebrating Autism Awareness. Special educator at Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES), Sarah Freudenberg, is a strong advocate for autism awareness, helping the community understand and appreciate those living with an autism spectrum disorder.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a life-long developmental disorder and is characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people, as well as difficulty in using language and abstract concepts. Children with autism find themselves having repetitive interests, activities and behaviors. They are often sensitive to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colors. The uniqueness of each person with autism makes the experience of living with autism different for each family.
The eighth annual World Autism Awareness Day was observed on Saturday, April 2nd. This event aimed to increase people’s awareness about others, especially children, with autism. Communities were argued to spread awareness by wearing blue or replacing lighting of landmarks, houses, businesses with blue lights. In San Pedro Town, the San Pedro Town Council, Sandy Point, and 12 Belize honored the day’s by replacing their lighting with blue lights, while others wore blue to mark the day’s special meaning.
For Freudenberg, it was a delight to see the community participate. “You have no idea how much this means. Not only to me as a special educator, but to all of the families in San Pedro who live with Autism in their family. This is a major step towards awareness and advocacy. Let’s continue to work together to support the families of people with disabilities,” said Sarah.
The 2nd annual Autism Awareness 5K Run/Walk will be held on Sunday, April 17th. Everyone is invited to come out and support this fundraising event. Participants sign up with a $10 registration fee, of which all proceeds benefit ACES Special Education Scholarships. Registration will begin at 9am at the Sandbar Beachfront Hostel and Restaurant. Walkers’ start time will be 10AM and runners’ start time is 10:30AM, leading to the awards ceremony at 11:30 AM. T-shirts will be available for sale at $20. For questions regarding the Autism Awareness 5K Run/Walk, please contact ACES at 226-2226 or email Sarah Freudenberg at [email protected]
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