Courtesy of the Community Foundation of the Hermann Area.
April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day, the kickoff day for Autism Awareness Month. Autism Spectrum Disorders are on the rise. Recent reports indicate that 1 in 88 people have a diagnosis somewhere along the autism spectrum. Previous statistics showed the incidence to be about 1 in 115. Interestingly, Missouri records about 1 in 77 people as having an autism spectrum disorder.
Sam and Missy Frink of Hermann and using April 2, 2012 as the day to begin matching donations to Wyatt’s Fund. To date, the fund has amassed $12,250 to benefit students in the Gasconade County R-I School District. With the matching funds from the Frinks, the fund will now total $14,500. The total Wyatt’s Fund challenge for 2012 is to hit $20,000. That means that the Frinks will match up to another $2,750.
These monies are funding supportive services for people of the Hermann area who struggle with autism. Gasconade County R-I Schools is developing and equipping a sensory break room along with selecting training for teachers. The third prong of the program will be to provide training and support to community members and surrounding schools. While parents will benefit from the training, other possible interest groups might include health care and day care providers, Sunday School teachers, and beauticians. Anyone who interacts with people with autism will find some benefit in coming to know how excess or unwelcome stimulation can create barriers for these folks.
The Frinks want to remind the public that the matching funds needn’t come in $1,000 increments. “We welcome every gift to support these folks. $500, $100, $50, $25, or even $10 can be put to good use,” said Missy Frink.
Anyone wanting further information should contact Chris Neale, President of the Community Foundation of the Hermann Area. Donations can be mailed to PO Box 62, Hermann, MO 65041. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.