Fitness program helps local agency increase Autism awareness

Hampden County

EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – A fundraiser Saturday was devoted to young people with autism and physical disabilities.

KP Fitness has the support of the “Radcliffe is the Reason and Arthur Too!” program founded by a Springfield area couple with two Autistic children.

The non-profit organization Unify Against Bullying also has a deep interest in children with Autism and supports the program.

“They’re one of the highest incidences of bullying because they are different,” executive director Christine Malwald told 22News. “At Unify it’s unique individuals inspiring future youth, what we like to do is embrace everyone and their differences.”

The parents of these young people with Autism said they’re grateful for the fitness program held at the Lutheran Church in East Longmeadow.

Some, like Terri Leone, has been participating in the program for years with her son.

“My son, Adam, is an adult with autism and in the Springfield area, there aren’t many opportunities for exercise, fitness and socializing with friends,” Leone yold 22News.

“There was an opportunity, since 2015 and every month we come,” she continued. “Adam exercises, stays in shape and learns about nutrition and makes new friends.”

Saturday’s fundraiser at KP Fitness will advance autism awareness in western Massachusetts. Allowing Unify Against Bullying to continuing awarding grants as it already has to this fitness program for Autistic young adults.

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