Handmade keychains benefit autism group
The Courier - 9/8/2019
Sep. 8--Parents with children diagnosed with autism often feel helpless.
After all, there is no known cure or even treatment for the developmental disorder.
But John Prestenbach, whose 7-year-old daughter Isabella was recently diagnosed with autism, is doing what he can to fight back.
Prestenbach, with his partner Amber Mangum, makes and sells handcrafted keychains, with all of the proceeds going to Autism Speaks, a nonprofit organization that advocates for awareness and support of families dealing with autism.
He has donated to other charities in the past but now concentrates on autism awareness.
"Having something hit so close to home made me think," Prestenbach said. "We need a new understanding of autism, a better understanding, so why not donate to a charity that helps with understanding what autism is all about?"
In addition to rasing money, Prestenbach is also learning about the challenges of raising a child with very specialized needs.
"Autistic children need a certain environment to survive in," Prestenbach said. "You have to have more things they are prone to like, otherwise you'll have more outbursts and issues. You have to accommodate what they're into at that moment."
Prestenbach sells his keychains at local art fairs and markets, as well as on his Facebook page, and has sold quite a few during the two-month-old endeavor.
"We've already sold about $130 worth this month," he said. "So we're looking at a big donation this month to autism. We want to set up at some of the special fairs, like the festivals we have in town. If we can get into those, we can spread the word more."
Staff Writer Scott Yoshonis can be reached at 850-1148 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Foster_Cajun.
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