Family Returns to Valley to Help Raise Autism Awareness

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PHARR – A mother spends a lot of time caring for her autistic son Orlando.

Evelyn Cano said raising an autistic child is challenging.

"When I go to the movies, if his popcorn falls, he's probably going to meltdown," said Cano. "That's something that a typical kid would be like let's get a new set of popcorn. He wants to get the popcorn from the ground and put it back in."

A few years ago, Cano said she moved her family from McAllen to San Antonio so Orlando could get different types of therapies, such as applied behavior analysis.

"We're barely getting one clinic here in the Valley," said Cano. "We've barely started here in the Valley. It was something that was non-existent."

Cano said her son received a variety of treatments when they moved.

"It was amazing because my son actually got to do many styles of therapy. He had many opportunities, including special needs sports,” she said

When her family moved back, Cano became a parent advocate for Aware-RGV, a non-profit organization that offers a wide range of services for families whose loved ones are autistic.

Some of the activities include autism walks to raise awareness and monthly support groups. 

"These types of activities are needed because our families need to feel unity. Sometimes they feel very alone," said Cano.

Aware-RGV is a branch of the Capable Kids Foundation. The foundation helps children with all kinds of disabilities. It has helped more than 500 families in the Valley since its inception two years ago.

The Capable Kids Foundation is launching a Lower Valley branch in September. Its first event will be a fall prom on September 23.

If you would like to know more about the Capable Kids, you can call 956-277-1776 or log on to capablekidsfoundation.com


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