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Lee County Autism Resource and Advocacy opens its doors to new location

Opelika-Auburn News - 3/31/2017

About three years ago, Todd Reardon was in search of resources and support for his son Tyler, who has autism. He found help in volunteers from Lee County Autism Resource and Advocacy.

"When you're a parent and you don't know where to turn, they show you how to apply for camps and things that will help your children with whatever needs they have," he said.

The organization, 601 South 7th St., held a ribbon cutting ceremony for its first headquarters on Thursday.

"In the past we had support from the Family Resource Center," said President Maria Gutierrez.

"Our goal is to bridge the gap between local resources in the area and help families. When you have a child with special needs it might be hard to find resources that are available."

The nonprofit offers free support groups, summer camps, educational programs and more to families in Lee County.

Reardon said he and his family have benefitted from Lee County Autism Resource and Advocacy.

"It's good you can come to a meeting and meet people who have something in common," he said. "We discuss how our lives changed as parents."

The resource center is needed in the community, said CynithiaLandry, Opelika City Schools special education coordinator.

"Special education is such a sensitive topic," she said. "Having an advocacy center for families is important to give them resources. Having a child with special needs is sometimes difficult."

The organization has events scheduled throughout April for Autism Awareness Month. Lee County autism Resource and Advocacy's World Autism Awareness Day Celebration will be held Sunday at 2 p.m. at Fire Station No.1, 359 East Magnolia Ave., in Auburn.

An A Day Autism 5k will be held April 8 at the Opelika Courthouse Square. Registration begins at 6:30-7:30 a.m. The race begins at 8 a.m. The registration fee for the 5k is $25, and $15 for a 1 mile fun run/walk. Prices for the registration fees will increase by $5, after March 31. Registration for a team up to 10 people will cost $150. All proceeds will support Lee County Autism Resource and Advocacy.

For more information about events or Lee County Autism Resource and Advocacy, visit www.leecountyautism.com.

 
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