Autism is a neuro-biological disorder typically lasting throughout people's lifetimes.
It impairs their ability to communicate and relate to others.
As part of Autism Awareness Month, WYMT's Kimberly Burcham will bring us a story on the topic every Thursday.
She introduces us to a mother raising awareness in her community.
Jackie Mullins lights up when she talks about her son, Zack.
“He can do anything with a computer, he's actually smarter than me,” Mullins said.
When Zack was 5, she found out he had autism.
It is something that 1 in 150 mothers hear each year in the U.S.
“At first, when I got the diagnosis, I was kind of devastated,” Mullins said.
Four years later, Jackie says she accepts it and is teaching people in her community about the disorder, most recently by organizing an autism awareness motorcycle ride in Whitesburg.
“I didn't really understand what autism was so I asked the lady this morning exactly to explain it to me,” Timothy Bates said.
“It just got to my heart and it made me start realizing that there's things around us that we don't know about,” Scott Pike said.
Jackie says with the $700 she was able to raise through the bike ride.
Literature will be given to parents in the community so they and their children will have a better understanding of what makes children with autism.
The more than 50 bikers cruised through several counties, riding to raise awareness.
Autism is the topic of our next Issues and Answers.
We will have a more in-depth look into the disorder on Monday night's show at 7 o'clock, right here on WYMT-TV and wymtnews.com.