Local Residents bring awareness to Autism

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Folks put up their kickstands to take part in the 7th Annual Ride-for-Autism.

Motorcycle riders started at Ripley’s Beach Bar and rode their bikes throughout the Wabash Valley as they looked to raise awareness for autism.

The event also included an auction, bike show, food and live bands. Many riders are directly affected by autism such as Ride for Autism organizer Tausha Beck, who’s son was diagnosed when he was only 18 years old.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, autism effects an estimated 1 in 54 children in the U.S. daily.

“My son was diagnosed when he was six years old. He’s now 19 and it’s something that we live with everyday. It’s something that you have to learn with and…literally you adjust your life around your child,” stated Ride for Autism participant Terra Bonte.

According to the CDC, boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls. The event hits close to home for one rider who says his son lives with autism and enjoys riding with him.

“No matter how bad of a day he’s had. If he’s in a bad mood, crying or upset, I can put him on the back of the motorcycle for just a little bit and it totally changes his day,” explained Ride for Autism participant Tony Barnard.

Parents of those with autism want you to know how important it is to treat them with the same respect as others.

“They just want to be accepted the same way everybody else does. They don’t…they just want to be accepted they don’t want to be left out of stuff and they get left out of so much and that’s my biggest thing,” stated Beck. “I want to bring awareness to people that want to be accepted too.”

All proceeds raised from the event went to Happiness Bag for Special Olympics.

“It certainly has helped my son. He actually graduated last year with his diploma with help from organizations like this,” explained Bonte.

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