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Turtle Wing still celebrating Autism Awareness Month

April 08, 2020 - 00:00
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As the world faces the challenge of COVID 19, we all have to step back, prioritize, and respectfully regroup. Like most non-profits serving our communities, Turtle Wing Foundation has had to determine what is necessary activity and get real when considering how to address planned events and fundraisers.

This means thinking outside of the box in order to continue serving its mission and ensure their families were being supported through these tough times.

Turtle Wing encourages everyone to “pull inside your shell” and stay safe.

Be sure to check Turtle Wing on Facebook and email for daily activities focusing on movement, life skills and social/ emotional wellbeing. This campaign is called #WingingItWithJack. Those not on Facebook may e-mail to get added to the e-mail list. Additionally there will be special video series: Mindfulness Mondays and Tucked in with Turtle Wing on Tuesdays. Wednesdays will continue to focus on the character traits of Kindness, Inclusion, Acceptance and Service. April is traditionally Turtle Wing’s busiest month as it is Autism Awareness Month. Unfortunately the Little League and high school softball and baseball games are on hold so there will not be Autism Awareness Games.

However, Turtle Wing will still have a very active awareness campaign. They will be counting a lot on technology in order to implement “social distancing” and push forward serving their mission – helping children with learning challenges in rural areas achieve their full potential. This will be kicked off Apr. 2, with Turtle Wing Day as proclaimed by Mayor of Schulenburg, Elaine Kocian. The foundation was founded by Dee-Ann Hooper, in honor of her son, Jack Hooper, who passed away Apr. 5, 2011 of a viral-like syndrome of unknown origin. Jack was diagnosed with high-functioning Autism at the age of six and due to the various academic and social skill supplemental services Jack received, he was a successful fourth grader at Schulenburg Elementary School.

Each year the foundation makes an effort to educate the community it serves about autism and the families who love people with autism. Autism statistics in 2018 from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identify that approximately 1 in 59 children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls. Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders – autism spectrum disorders – caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by communication difficulties, social and behavioral challenges, and repetitive behaviors. Children with autism may have a different way of seeing, hearing or feeling things. Some children with autism have trouble talking. In 2019, Turtle Wing served 325 local children and continues to touch families who struggle with not only Autism, but all learning challenges every day. The recipients have all been from Colorado, Fayette, Lavaca, and surrounding counties with academic, social-emotional, behavioral and/or developmental needs. To learn more about Turtle Wing Foundation visit or contact Managing Director, Susie Shank, at 979-505-5090.