April: Autism Awareness Month

LEXINGTON, KY-- About one in every 68 children in the United States is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). April is known to be Autism Awareness Month, raising awareness for a spectrum disorder that affects so many children, teens and adults in the United States.


Lexington has several events that help raise ASD awareness. Virtual Run Events is hosting a virtual 5K, See The World A Different Way 5K for Autism Awareness, which will be held in Lexington.


According to the Virtual Run Events website, "a virtual race is a race that can be run (or walked) from any location you choose. You can run, jog, or walk on the road, on the trail, on the treadmill, at the gym or on the track (or even at another race). You get to run your own race, at your own pace, and time it yourself."


Emma Logsdon, an advocate for those with ASD, partook in the virtual 5K.


“I participated in the virtual 5K to raise awareness for Autism due to my close correlation with the disorder. I am a volunteer trainer for an organization called 4 Paws for Ability, where I help raise and train service dogs in training for children with disabilities," Logsdon said. "One of the most common disabilities for the clients of 4 Paws is Autism. So I will do all I can in my power to raise awareness for those that need it."


Logsdon, 18, finished the 5K while running through campus. Her time was 35 minutes and 48 seconds.


Another 5K participant was elementary school teacher Jeanne Hughes, age 60, who walked the 5K in New Buffalo, Michigan.


“Autism is a disorder that affects so many children on the subliminal level," Hughes said. "If walking helps these children, I am more than willing to do that.” She walked the 5K in a record 1 hour and 12-minute time.


Since See the World A Different Way 5K for Autism Awareness will take place virtually, participants can run the 5K anywhere in the world, any day throughout the month of April. Participants will receive a medal, shirt and sweatshirt once their time has been submitted. 15 percent of the proceeds from the event will be donated to the Organization for Autism Research.


Another event in the Lexington area is the Inclusion Palooza, an event that fosters a sense of community for families with members who were diagnosed with disabilities. While this event helps raise awareness to Autism, the Inclusion Palooza highlights all disabilities.  


Abby Sheeler, 22, will volunteer at the event with her 4 Paws for Ability service dog in training, Mazer.


“Inclusion Palooza is a great experience for all members of our community," Sheeler said. "I want to be a special education teacher, so this is right up my alley, but I think that raising awareness to disabilities, such as Autism is an amazing thing, so I’m happy to help in any way I can.”


The Inclusion Palooza will take place April 21 from 12:30 p.m to 7 p.m. at the MoonDance Amphitheater. 


While April is Autism Awareness Month, autism awareness is a never ending cause in Lexington. Follow the Autism Society of the Bluegrass on Facebook or their personal website to stay up to date with events that support and raise Autism awareness.