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Runners Crowdfund for First Autism Handbook in Maltese

2017-05-04

Thanks to the efforts of four runners, parents of children in Malta diagnosed with Autism can hope to receive a Maltese language handbook to help guide them as they adjust to life with this news.

The initiative is spearheaded by a campaign on crowdfunding website ZAAR, in which the brave runners will complete a grueling off-road 50-kilometre trail run in Gozo, in a test of endurance and determination involving a total climb of 1400 metres, purely to raise funds to create the handbook.

Autism, or autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), is a developmental disorder which affects the way a person communicates with and relates to other people and the world around them.

The English version of the handbook was launched last Saturday at the Autism Parents’ Association (APA) AGM and Fun Day, and the team now need a little bit more help to publish the guide in Maltese. APA recognised the need for such a guide to support parents of newly diagnosed children, during what is an especially confusing and distressing period. The handbook will include an overview of autism, guidance on how to cope in the early years and information on the services offered locally.

“It’s hard to describe, but the helplessness you experience when you discover your child has autism is truly disorientating,” one parent commented. “A simple guide like this would have been incredibly valuable for my son and I during those early years.”

The campaign target of €5,000 will pay for the hefty 120-page handbook to be translated into Maltese, designed, and then for 100 copies to be printed. Any surplus funds would contribute to the printing of additional copies and, should the target be exceeded, then this would allow the creation of other Autism handbooks for use in junior schools, or for adults receiving a diagnosis.

The initiative was first started in March when Sandra Peyre and Emma McEwen raised €2,000 by running the Malta Half Marathon. Now, the four Green Fox Runners – Italo Bonnici, Tiziana Bonnici, Jason Greenaway and Patrick Tabone – will take on the Hellfire Gozo Ultra 50km Trail Run on 6th May. Thanks to their sponsorship by Zaar, Vibe FM, Vodafone, TeamSport  Mayhem Design, Alan the Designer and SADO Printing, all funds raised from the campaign will be used towards the creation of the Autism Handbook.

Supporters are invited to click on the ‘Autism Guide’ page on Zaar.com.mt to learn more about the project and cause. Donations can also be sent over SMS on €2.33 – 50617314, €4.66 – 50617919, €11.65 – 50619249. APA wishes to thank everyone who has donated and supported this initiative.

Please visit the ZAAR and Autism Parents Association pdages on Facebook on www.facebook.com/zaar.com.mt or www.facebook.com/AutismParentsAssociation/

For more information, please also visit www.ZAAR.com.mt


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