News Article Details

Autism events aim to improve understanding

Brownsville Herald - 4/23/2017

McALLEN - "Don't judge a person until you have walked a mile in that person's shoes" could have been the theme for the 12th annual Autism Awareness Event that was held Saturday at McAllen Veterans Memorial Stadium.

April is Autism Awareness Month.

Beginning early with a 5K run and fun walk later in the morning, the stadium was covered in blue as part of the event to raise autism awareness. Organizers said they hoped to educate the community about autism, how families are affected, how to work with an autistic child and how families can cooperate to get through any situation.

Capable Kids Foundation, one of the sponsors of the event, began in 2015 when a group of professionals from the areas of social work, physical therapy and occupational therapy came together and noticed that children with disabilities weren't getting enough of attention. They decided to begin a nonprofit organization to focus on those children.

"The mission is to improve the quality of life for children and families, and children with all special needs and disabilities - from autism, cerebral palsy, syndromes and genetic disorders," said Melanie Watson, president of Capable Kids Foundation.

"We want overall happiness and family unity for the children," Watson added.

As part of the event, Capable Kids Foundation invited motivational speaker and advocate Kim Stagliano to speak. Stagliano, a mother of three autistic girls, spoke to a private audience Friday evening about her life at home and how she's learning to live a life of normalcy.

"We all face the same struggle, we have to use humor," Stagliano said.

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