At the monthly Liberty County Sheriff’s Office general meeting, Sheriff Bobby Rader hosted two speakers from two different organizations but who are working in collaboration to further both education and awareness of Autism as it relates to special needs of children, the general public and to first responders who may encounter such needs in the field. Marion Campbell, Region 5 Coordinator for the Partners Resource Network and Belinda Hernandez of the Raising Awesome Awareness organization spoke from a knowledgeable perspective of their own family and the issues and lack of a full understanding of the public as they, themselves, deal with the daily issues associated with Autism.

Both Campbell and Hernandez pointed out the fact that in many cases and more so in years past, that the wrong diagnosis was often given for young children and even today, the difficulty in educating parents on services available that can assist in the handling and treatment of such cases is still a difficult task. However, this remain the primary goal of both of these organizations.

The three stages that is often associated with Autism was described to the deputies at the meeting and a detailed description was given on how to approach and talk to those who may have Autism. It was stressed that such encounters can be very stressful for the children if handled incorrectly but with a basic understanding of the signs and symptoms such contacts can resolve itself in a manner that is more supportive of the child involved.

As Hernandez pointed out, there are several events planned in the next few months for the children such as a dance for the special needs community as well as a family fun event and a pool party. In October of 2020 there is even a “not-so-scary” Halloween Party planned as well as other events that would cater to the special needs of the local community.

Both Marion Campbell and Belinda Hernandez request that anyone wishing further details on the goals and services available from their respective organizations to contact them. Coordinator Campbell and her organization can be reached by calling their office at (409) 898-4684 and President Hernandez and her organization can be reached by calling (936) 776-1310. This would help to further their individual mission statements of “Together We Can Make A Difference” and “ Empowerment Through Education”

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