On March 23, Austen’s Autistic Adventures will be hosting their First Annual Spring Carnival at Olde City Park in Wylie. The purpose of the carnival is not only to raise money for our organization but also to raise awareness of the presence of adults with autism in our community. The carnival will bring people on the spectrum, their friends, family, and the community together for an afternoon of fun and inclusion. The carnival will feature a wide variety of games, prizes, food, bounce houses, autism-related services and autism-friendly products. Wrist bands will be available for all-access gaming (food excluded) or individual ticket sales

Once people on the autism spectrum “age out” of the school system, they are left with very little to do. Most are unemployed or marginally employed; only about 19% of adults have any employment at all. Additionally, most parents of people with ASD are still of working age. This means that many of our “kids” are left at home alone, spending time online or with a television. Their hard-won social skills begin to decline.

Temple Grandin, perhaps the best-known autistic person in the world, says, “The most important thing people did for me was expose me to new things.” Exposure to a variety of real-world experiences exactly what AAA seeks to do. Austen’s Autistic Adventures meets five days a week. For about two hours every day, the group engages in a variety of social, community-based activities: art, bowling, sports, theater, volunteering, and more.  By going out every day, our members hone their social skills. But our members are not the only ones who benefit: store owners, managers, and the public at large truly get to know people with autism and many misconceptions are corrected.

Read more: Watters Creek kicks off Spring Break with a Party at the Playground 

Aayushi Pramanik

Aayushi Pramanik is a student at Williams College. When not working or studying economics and math, she enjoys dancing, singing, and taking countless photos with her camera.