0

Autism run, walk upcoming at Nash Farm

Special Photo
Ryan’s Friends, Inc., is named for Ryan Kuhn, an 8-year-old autistic Stockbridge boy.

Special Photo Ryan’s Friends, Inc., is named for Ryan Kuhn, an 8-year-old autistic Stockbridge boy.

For the second straight year, organizers of a local fund-raiser are hoping to generate awareness about the prevalence of autism in children.

Ryan’s Friends, Inc., will hold a Run for Autism Resources, May 5, at Nash Farm Battlefield, located on Babbs Mills Road in Hampton. The purpose of the event, which will include a 5K race and a one-mile walk, is to assist in bringing autism services to the Henry County area, according to the group’s president, Leo Payne.

“Our goal is to provide funds for an autism center in the area,” said Payne. “This is one of our campaign fund-raisers. We’ve also been named a capital charity for Speedway Children’s Charities. The combination of these funds is going to be applied toward an eventual autism center, where we plan to have early childhood intervention and applied behavioral analysis training, and other therapies.”

Ryan’s Friends, Inc., is named for Ryan Kuhn, an 8-year-old autistic Stockbridge boy. Payne hopes the upcoming event will help provide resources for Kuhn, and other local children with autism.

He said there has been a “phenomenal” increase in the number of childhood autism cases across the nation.

“It went from one out of 110 [children] two years ago, to one out of 88 now,” said Payne.

He said recently released figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicated that autism affects one out of 84 Georgia kids, and one out of 51 boys. Payne added that boys are at five times greater risk than girls, of being diagnosed with autism.

“The scary thing is, researchers for the CDC can only identify about 50 percent of the reason for the increase, and it’s because of a greater awareness on the part of parents and physicians,” said Payne. “If you can’t identify a specific cause, you cannot have a cure.”

The one-mile walk will begin at 7:45 a.m., and the race will start at 8 a.m. Registration is $25 for the race, and $10 for the walk.

The fees include opportunities for attendees to have their pictures taken with a Legends Racing car and truck, according to Payne. To register, visit www.active.com/event_detail.cfm?event_id=2024429.