Did you know — I did not — that autism, a developmental disability that affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others, affects one in 59 children? Prior to working on this issue with Susan McCorkindale, our Haymarket and Gainesville Lifestyles editor, autism is something I confess I did not know much about. It is not something that I personally have any experience with, but many others in our community are affected by it. With this issue, we hope to bring awareness of autism to those who aren’t familiar with it, and assistance by providing resources to families living with it. A big thank you to Susan for taking the lead with this special section that will mean so much to our community, and to all those who shared their knowledge and stories with us.
In the center of the magazine you’ll find our first-ever disAbility Resources Guide. Created by both the Arc of Greater Prince William and the Arc of North Central Virginia, this incredible tool bursts with information on advocacy organizations, community supports, recreation options, transition services, and more.
In addition to the Guide, find other articles about autism and disabilities in this issue. Get to know a local young adult with autism, Joanna Hughes, who views herself as differently-abled, not dis-abled. Read about college opportunities for students with autism, how pets can assist with autism treatment, and much more within these pages. In fact, there was so much information on this subject that we couldn’t fit it all in print, so there will be a lot more on our website in April. Stop by and visit us at piedmontlifestyle.com!
Beyond autism, we have others helping to bring awareness and health to our community. The FRESH Program (Fauquier Reaches for Excellence in School Health) is working to bring nutrition, healthy eating, and exercise to our schools to educate children about healthy lifestyles. Our Southern Fauquier Spotlight this issue is the Inn at Kelly’s Ford, and other features include the Afro-American History Museum in The Plains and a nostalgic look back to Warrenton’s spring carnivals in the 1940s and ‘50s.
And now that spring is officially here, parents know that it’s high time to start thinking about summer plans for their children. Take a look at our special advertising section for private schools and summer camps toward the end of the magazine, and look forward to the approaching warmer weather!