April is Autism Awareness month Nationwide. The condition is now believed to affect one of every 68 children – up from one in 88 just two years earlier. That means virtually every grade in every elementary school has at least one child with autism – a seemingly astonishing rise for a condition that was nearly unheard of a generation ago.
Founded by Kirkland resident Arzu Forough in 2007, Washington Autism Alliance & Advocacy (WAAA) exists to remove barriers to timely access to evidence based treatment, effective education programs, sustainable community based services and supports for children and adults statewide. The mission is to dramatically improve access to autism insurance benefits and effective services in schools and communities regardless of personal financial background and to ensure that our children have every opportunity to become productive members of society. To learn more about WAAA visit http://www.washingtonautismadvocacy.org
To promote healthy exercise for children with Autism, Nanci Burrit, owner of Kirkland’s Skymania, the 30,000 square foot facility filled with trampolines, foam pits and more is teaming up with WAAA to host “Tumble for Autism” on April 18th, from 4:00pm - 6:00pm.
WAAA CEO Arzu Forough, knows how beneficial Skymania’s facilities can be to those that are affected by autism having family members on the spectrum. Forough has been watching trampolines used for speech, occupational and physical and behavior therapies for over 15 years. “You can really see a difference in how children can control their bodies more effectively” said Forough, “ I’ve watched children’s motivation to engage increase dramatically while jumping on a trampoline”.
“It’s amazing what kids on that spectrum can do on a trampoline that they might not have been able to without that sensory input,” said Forough, “You see kids going from disengaged and non-communicative to making eye contact and being more aware of what’s going on.”
!But kids are not the only ones reporting life-changing results; adults living with autism in the community are also benefitting from trampolines. WAAA member Anabelle Listic
a 29-year-old Seattle woman with autism has two trampolines at home and uses them daily to process information and cope with anxiety. “My moments of true clarity always happen when I’m on my trampoline,” Listic said. “It’s like meditation to me, everything feels effortless and makes sense and feels okay.”
WAAA is looking for volunteers to help with the event. Our Volunteers form the backbone of our projects and events. We need 20 volunteers for this particular event that will be willing and able to help supervise the activities taking place, help with check in and registration, and lending support to the families that will be there. Please contact Jess Silvernail, Executive Assistant, at firstname.lastname@example.org OR 425-941-6842 for more information.