Autism expo slated for Nanaimo

Disorder is more common than many realize

 The first annual Autism Expo will be held at the Beban Park Auditorium in Nanaimo April 30 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the theme Live, Laugh, Learn.

The free family-friendly event is being put on by Leadership Vancouver Island and the Autism Society of BC’s local branch for Autism Awareness Month.

The goal is to assist people affected by autism and their families to connect with local resources, community support services and other families. 

“We are extremely grateful to Leadership Vancouver Island for taking the lead on this event,” said Alexandria Stuart, Autism Society branch co-ordinator in a press release. “We are a non-profit organization with limited resources and team TrailBlazers has done an immense amount of work to create this much-needed local resource event,” 

Check www.autismbc.ca/nanaimo/php for more information.

Meanwhile people can donate to Fran Duncan’s ongoing fundraising in Oceanside for the Walk Now for Autism BC.

Duncan and her family have been taking part in the walk as team Aidan’s Avengers for several years on behalf of her grandson Aidan Blower who has autism.

Her campaign is as much about awareness as fundraising, since people with autism don’t look any different and it affects more people than childhood cancer, diabetes and AIDS combined.

The walk is Sept. 25 in Vancouver but Duncan is collecting bottles and donations now and they can be dropped off at the bottle depots in Parksville and Qualicum Beach.

Duncan will be canvassing in front of local stores again soon and she will even consider picking bottles up from Oceanside homes, call 250-752-3744 to make arrangements.

To learn more about autism visit www.autismspeaks.org. Check www.walknowforautism.org and click on the B.C. link for more on the walk.