Last updated: July 18. 2013 7:40PM - 256 Views
Jack Latta

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PRESTONSBURG — Floyd County will stride to make a difference this weekend, as folks from throughout the community take part in the third annual Autism Walk in Prestonsburg.

The event, which is sponsored by Mayor Jerry Fannin, the City of Prestonsburg, and Blackcat Archery, will take place Saturday in the downtown parking lot, beginning at 11 a.m.

Billie Chain, chairperson for the East Kentucky Autism Support Group, says there will be refreshments for children and information booths, as well as representatives of the city’s police and fire departments to give children information about their professions.

“Our organization is dedicated to the process of making people in this area more aware of autism,” Chain said in a released statement.

April is National Autism Awareness Month. For more information on the Autism Walk you can visit the group’s event page on facebook at facebook.com/events/455349454541193/ or by email at eastkyautismawareness@gmail.com.

According to the “Autism Speaks” website, autism is represented by several disorders characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors which include autistic disorder, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder and Asperger syndrome. With the May 2013 publication of the new DSM-5 diagnostic manual, these autism subtypes will be merged into one umbrella diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, autism rates are at an all-time high in the United States. Figure released this week show that 1-in-50 American children between ages 6 and 17 fall into the autism spectrum, up from a rate of 1-in-88 reported last year.

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