SOUTH OTSELIC – Saturday will mark the fourth of Otselic Valley’s annual Autism Awareness Walk, and with more and more people attending the event, this year coordinators decided to add even more to it.
This year’s Autism Walk, to be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 3, will be combined with the district’s first health and wellness fair. Walk coordinator Natalie Beckwith was approached by school nurse Stacey Morse about the idea earlier in the year. The school had been awarded a grant to hold an in-school health and wellness fair. The two decided combining the events could increase attendance and help educate more people.
Autism is an important issue for Beckwith, who works at the school and has three children with autism. “There has definitely been a visible increase in the number of kids with autism since five or ten years ago,” Beckwith said. She explained that currently, 1 in 150 children is diagnosed with autism, and among boys, the disorder is more likely, occurring in 1 of 94 boys.