Festival raising autism awareness and money

By: Jerrika Insco Email
By: Jerrika Insco Email

In Letcher County, there is no need to travel this Memorial Day weekend with the Agrestic Music and Arts Festival in town.

All of the festival's proceeds go to a structured classroom for autistic children that is endanger of closing.

They are promising great food and entertainment for an even greater cause.

"It's really self-fulfilling to know that as a community we can come together and save the classroom," said Brandon Fields, who lives in Whitesburg and has a son with autism.

The classroom is structured to help transition autistic children into regular schools, but it needs funds to stay open.

That is where folks in the community are stepping in to raise awareness and money.

"These children are going to be our future like all the other kids are. They just need a little extra help or a little boost here or there and what a better place and better cause to come out and support," said Todd Hall, who lives in Whitesburg and has a son with autism.

Hall says without the help of this special classroom, his 6-year-old son Braylen along with several others would not be where they are today.

"You would think he was just a really outgoing child because he doesn't meet a stranger and he's really friendly and polite to everyone. He's really curious about a lot of things," said Hall.

"One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish!" said Braylen Hall as he recited one of his favorite books.

For kids like Braylen, the structured classroom is more than a learning place, it is their future.

Parents of these children say the classroom is the backbone of their development.

"I love school! I love to read!" said Braylen.

According to the Center for Disease Control, one in 88 children have autism and that number continues to grow.

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