428659327 122127738476112511 5523587366368536206 nFollow the Spectrum, An Autism Awareness Event will be held April 20 at Dick’s Sporting Goods in the Freedom Town Center. This event is a Super-Hero themed, family-friendly day, with kid activities, food trucks, information booths and vendors. Vendor registration is available on the website, Follow the Spectrum, https://www.followthe spectrum2024.com/

The proceeds for this event will provide financial support for the children and families of The School of Hope, located at 111 Burn Street. The School of Hope was founded by Amy and Rob Sparks.

“In June of 2011, after losing our son, Jared, we knew that this is what we had to do, and we knew that Jared would want us to help as many people as possible with autism as we could. That was a promise that could not be broken, a promise to our son Jared,” they said.

One in every hundred children are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum disorder. Autism prevalence has increased one-hundred and seventy-eight percent since 2000. Four times as many boys are diagnosed with Autism as girls. The cost of caring for autistic Americans can increase to four-hundred and sixty-one billion dollars by 2025, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

North Carolina has a prevalence rate of Autism higher than the national average, with one in fifty-two children diagnosed with Autism, according to Steve Zauderer, Cross River Therapy. The Autism Society of Cumberland County, The Shinelight, and The School of Hope are organizations addressing the autistic population within Cumberland County.

The School of Hope serves students from kindergarten to 8th grade with mild to moderate diagnosis of autism according to The School of Hope Story website.

“Autism often has an impact on education and employment issues. In addition, demands on the families providing care and support can be significant. Societal attitudes and level of support are crucial factors determining the quality of life of people with autism,” according to the World Health Organization.

“Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurological and developmental disorder that affects how people interact with others, community, learn how to learn and behave. Although it can be diagnosed at any age, it is described as a developmental disorder because the symptoms generally appear in the first two years. It is known as a spectrum because of the wide variation in the type and severity of symptoms people experience,” according to the National Institute of Mental Health

Coach Elaine Hall shares, “it takes a village to raise a child. It takes a child with autism to raise the consciousness of the village.”

Be a Super-Hero and choose to become a vendor, financial supporter, or a life-long learner seeking insights into Autism Spectrum Disorder. For more information, contact Follow the Spectrum, Autism Awareness of Fayetteville through their website at https://followthespectrum2024.com.

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