Kite-flying event to help those with autism spectrum disorders

PLATTSBURGH - The Advocacy and Resource Center will host its first "Kite Flight for Autism" and a Car "Show & Shine" this Saturday,May 14, at the PARC Oval.

The event, which runs from 10 a.m until 3 p.m., is designed to raise awareness and funds for the new autism program. All funds go towards "First Step for Autism," the new program designed to provide services for families and children impacted by autism spectrum disorders.

Theresa Garrow, executive director of theClintonCounty Advocacy andResource Center, said this is a particularly important cause.

"Certainly autism is a rising concern for many families; there really is a real need for services for children with autism,"noted Garrow.

First Step for Autism facilitates testing for children to determine if they are on the autism spectrum, explained Garrow, a service which typically "comes out of parents' pockets."

"What happens is that there has to be a psychological assessment performed, and a pediatrician or psychologist has to sign that off - well, that's not funded," emphasized Garrow. "We try to do these fundraisers so that parents don't have to do that type of thing out of pocket."

Not only are these services generally not funded, facilities which perform these evaluations are also limited in the North Country, claimed Garrow.

"There's no one in the area except for us that can provide that type of process, so that's why we do these - we think it's a very worthy cause," she said.

For Brenda Garner, coordinator of this weekend's event, this is also an important issue.

"I do fundraising for not for profits, and causes I truly believe in," she said.

Participants of all ages are encouraged to engage in the many activities at the event, which include, food, vendors, games, a car show, bike rodeo, appearance by Pipsqueak the Clown, and fingerprinting and DNA by the Plattsburgh office of Woodmen of the World.

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