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Increasing autism awareness

At one time many in this country were afraid, in fact they refused, to say the word cancer. Many would simply refer to it by the first initial of the word. It was almost as if they felt saying the word cancer would give the disease to them.

Until recently that misguided mindset also surrounded the disorder called autism.

People would rather ignore that it existed than face reality, which is the first step to coming up with a cure. Or at least treatment to help those who suffer from it.

The disorder affects brain development where there are difficulties with social interaction, communication and repetitive behaviors.

The disorder is at least four times more common with boys than girls and affects more than 3 million in this country.

One Lawrence County resident knows firsthand what it is like to deal with an autistic child and he wants to make others more aware of the disorder.

That man is Bill Jordan, whose 9-year-old son, Allen, was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3.

“It broke my heart,” Jordan said recently.

But Jordan wasn’t about to run from this situation. He faced it.

On Saturday, April 23, Jordan plans to ride a mini-bike around the perimeter of Lawrence County, all 183 miles of it. He will be decked out with sweatshirt and decals promoting autism awareness.

Now he wants others to understand about the disorder and that special needs children deserve love too.