ROCKINGHAM — As Autism Acceptance Month draws to a close, one local manufacturer made a donation to a group that helps provide resources to Richmond County families of children on the spectrum.
American Woodmark on Wednesday presented a check for $2,000 to the Autism Society of North Carolina. Those funds will be used by the Richmond County chapter to support local activities.
“Since taking this position to lead our local chapter, I have been so overwhelmed by the support from both individuals and businesses in Richmond County,” said Meghann Lambeth, chapter leader. “We are so thankful for this donation and excited to use it to continue to grow our local chapter.
“Thank you to American Woodmark for the generous donation and to the Krystal Dawn Retreat for offering their beautiful facility and donating so much to the Richmond County Chapter of the Autism Society of North Carolina.”
The Autism Society has hosted several events at Krystal Dawn Retreat, including a recent Easter egg hunt.
Last year, the local chapter provided sensory bags to more than 100 students.
Lambeth, who also works as the executive director of the Richmond County Tourism Development Authority, has a son on the spectrum.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines autism spectrum disorder as “a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges.”
Several autism-related diagnoses, including Asperger syndrome, were merged into ASD by the American Psychiatric Association in 2013.
Many causes of ASD are unknown, according to the CDC, but children born to older parents or who have older siblings with autism are more likely to be diagnosed.
While the CDC says there is no link between childhood vaccinations and autism, many parents share anecdotal stories of how their children’s development slowed after receiving certain inoculations.
According to the Autism Society, the rate of autism in children was one in 125 in 2010. A decade later, the CDC reported that it had increased to one in 54. Statistics show the rate has now increased to one in 44 — increasing 241% since 2000.
An infographic from Autism Parenting Magazine, published in March, indicates that most children are diagnosed after reaching 4 years old. Although it occurs in both boys and girls, Autism is 4 times more prevalent in boys. Forty percent of children diagnosed are nonverbal.
The Richmond County chapter generally meets the third Thursday of every month.
Resources and events are posted in the ASNC Richmond County Chapter Facebook group.
To receive email notifications, contact Lambeth at firstname.lastname@example.org.