In about the time it takes to boil a saucepan of water, read one chapter of a book, or take a shower — a child with autism is born.
Studies estimate that every 11 minutes a family finds out their child has the complex brain disorder that can inhibit abilities to communicate and develop social relationships.
For families dealing with the disorder every day is a battle.
Todd Tomerlin and his wife Tammy of East Limestone believe it is a battle that can be won.
The Tomerlins’ 13-year-old son Gage was diagnosed with high-functioning autism at age two.
Since that time, both have worked tirelessly to educate the public about autism as well as provide Gage with the highest quality of life.
The Tomerlins started the group, Fitting the Pieces, a parent-led support group for family members with loved ones diagnosed with autism. The Autism Society of Alabama supports the group, which meets the first Thursday of every month at Lindsay Lane Baptist Church.
Todd has also been busy helping Therese Chinavare, Jennifer Hosner and others at Family Security Credit Union plan the Autism Society of Alabama Walk for Autism in Athens.
The rain or shine event will include a 2-mile walk Saturday, April 13, at Golden Eagle Stadium on the campus of Athens High School. The walk is non-competitive and participants are welcome to bring strollers and wagons for youth participants.
Activities for kids and adults are also on tap for Autism Walk and include a bubble creation station, face painting, bounce houses, kids activity center, food vendors, resource exhibitors, prizes for kids and family fun.
Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. The cost to preregister is $30 and includes a T-shirt. The cost is $35 day of walk.
Proceeds from the walk will benefit Autism Society of Alabama, whose mission is to improve services for individuals affected by Autism Spectrum disorder through education, advocacy, conferences, seminars and family camps.
“We are trying to make this an annual event,” Todd said. “We are asking people to come out and show their support. At this point, just about everybody is affected by autism in one way or another.”
To register, visit walkforautismAL.com or call 1-877- 4AUTISM.
To find out more about Fitting the Pieces, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Gold sponsors for the Walk
for Autism in Athens are Family Security Credit Union, All Star Plumbers, Steelcase, Federal Mogul, Athens-Limestone Hospital, CDPA Certified Public Accountants and DanTera Salon and Spa.
Other sponsors include Quiznos, Roosters, K-May Donuts, Suzanne’s Bakery & Eatery, Picasso’s Grill, Star- bucks, Golden Tan, Event Rental Pros, Nestle Tollhouse Café and Walmart.
- Calhoun bringing ‘Hamlet’ to Black Box Theatre
- Athens student serving as FCCLA state officer
Behaviorists: Dogs feel no shame despite the look
The next time you start shaking your finger and shouting "Shame on you!" because your dog chewed up your favorite fuzzy slippers, just remember that no matter how guilty your dog looks, it doesn't know what your rant is about.
'Which (blank) are you?' Online quizzes go viral
For a compulsive online quiz-taker like Chrissy Noh, the temptation was too great to resist: "Which sandwich are you?"
After answering a series of unscientific, seemingly unrelated questions, which included selecting her favorite doughnut from a lineup of frosted pastries, she had her answer (grilled cheese, for the record). And she's not the only one who's comparing herself to sandwiches lately. Go on, admit it: Chances are, you've been doing it, too.
- Cream of the crop: Two Limestone County 4-H students to attend national conference
Turnham guarded art featured in Clooney movie
For former state Rep. Pete Turnham of Auburn, "The Monuments Men" is not a Hollywood movie about World War II. It's part of his life.
- Girl Scouts to hold cookie tasting
- Memories of the Beatles' US television debut
- GI Joe, the world's first action figure, turns 50
Hometown pride for 56th Grammys
Alabama Shakes has opted to bypass the trip out West to attend this year's Grammys, with all five members — Steve Johnson, Brittany Howard, Zac Cockrell, Heath Fogg and Ben Tanner — still residing in the Tennessee Valley and concentrating on their music and families.
- More Lifestyle Headlines