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Porter’s Body strives to raise autism awareness

April is Autism Awareness Month, and Patrick Porter of Porter’s Body Shop is trying to spread the word.

“This is one area that hits home to me,” Porter said. “It’s also an area that I think there’s very little (attention). We just had the Relay for Life. That’s great. You’ve got all the things out there, and something like autism gets lost in the shuffle sometimes.”

Porter said parents often have difficulty dealing with a diagnosis, and he went through something similar when his son Jarod was diagnosed with asperger syndrome, a disorder within the autism spectrum, at 6 years old.

“I spoke to someone this week, a mother, and her child is going through the motions of being diagnosed. I told her don’t feel bad. When we were going through that, we were scared.

“I hear the same story over and over,” Porter said. “Why me? I did that for a little bit, but I woke up one day and I said, no we’re going to embrace this.”

Since then, Porter said he’s been trying to reach out to other parents to give his support.

“I’m always out there trying,” Porter said. “If I find out that your child has autism or asperger or one of the spectrum disorders, I tell them to talk to me.”

As part of that reaching out, Porter is using Porter’s Body Shop’s Facebook page to spread awareness. Every week, Porter’s Body Shop will be posting Autism Awareness facts. Those who share the page will have a change to win a gas card or wheel alignment.

“It’s not about giving prizes away,” Porter said. “It’s about spreading awareness for autism.”

For those who don’t have facebook access, Porter said they are free to give Porter’s Body Shop a call. Porter’s Body Shop’s facebook page can be found at facebook.com/PortersBodyShopInc.