Advocates discuss the importance of Autism Awareness Month

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — To so many parents of children with autism, the month of April means so much to them.

Janet Lintala remembers a time when awareness for autism was a lot harder to create.

“This month is very important to me because many years ago when my son was born there was not a lot of awareness,” said Lintala, the founder of Un-prescription Foundation for Autism.

Lintala runs a non-profit focusing on providing natural supports for the often invisible health issues of those anywhere on the spectrum. She said there are still a lot of questions when it comes to autism, and it is thanks to support created through things like this month and the world autism awareness day that help find the answers.

“It is through many years of diligent learning and seeking out knowledge and research it turns out there is a lot we didn’t know about autism,” said Lintala.

In speaking with some parents of children with autism, they said added support is not the only thing they are asking for this month.

“That our children be accepted in the actual community,” said Lisa Matherly, the Director of Raleigh County special olympics and the mother of a son with autism.

Matherly said sports and other activities helped her and her son feel a little more accepted.

“We have done various things for them to be out there and be a part of the community,” said Matherly.

Both Lintala and Matherly expressed their journey continues well in to May and beyond. However, every year the support grows little by little.

“For autism parents it is autism awareness every day but we are very grateful that the whole world seems to be very knowledgeable about it,” said Lintala.

Lintala said for more information and resources focused on autism you can check out her website.

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