Robe resident Kerryn Newton has been walking for autism in order to raise awareness and money during April.
Kerryn will be walking 10,000 steps a day from April 8-15. Kerryn’s son Orlando was diagnosed with autism when he was 2 years old.
Kerryn has raised nearly $250 since she started walking and is looking to reach her goal of $1500.
Orlando didn’t talk, barely ate and was not coping socially at the point of his diagnosis. Kerryn mentioned throughout her story on her ‘walk for autism’ fundraising page that Orlando’s speech has improved significantly through therapy and intervention.
Orlando has since started mainstream schooling and has reached the stage where he is comfortable in a social setting.
Kerryn mentioned throughout her story that they still have a long way to go but Orlando has proven to be a determined young boy with drive.
She is also determined to raise money and awareness for autism spectrum disorder, making sure that no one with autism is left behind.
Kerryn told the Leader about her motivations to do the ‘The everyday hero walk for autism,’ coming up on her Facebook page, to which she jumped on board immediately and registered.
“Autism aspect is the place where the money is going to and they like to provide tools to autism families around Australia,” Kerryn said. “I think the most important tool is awareness.”
Kerryn said she had worked hard to prepare.
“I do personal training three times a week and I am also signed up with the gym in Robe,” she said.
Kerryn believes there is not enough awareness around autism, saying there is still a stigma attached and how people need to understand the differences along the spectrum.
“I didn’t know anything about autism until I started this journey with Orlando,” she said. “In him being diagnosed I’ve learnt a lot about his condition, how broad the spectrum is and how early intervention the biggest key to helping with autism as well as early diagnosis.”
In saying that awareness and early intervention is key, Kerryn added what her main goals are outside raising money. She pushes the message that autism is not a disability as such, but those with autism view the world in a way that is different.
“Possibly with increased awareness we’ll have early diagnosis and that will help kids with autism function in communities better.”
Kerryn is hoping that autism will become an open subject for people to talk about with ease rather than a secluded word like it has been in the past.
Visit Kerryn’s fundraising page at https://walk-for-autism-2018.everydayhero.com/au/walk-for-autism-204 and donate.