WHEN MY SON WAS DIAGNOSED with sensory integration disorder at the age of 5, I performed extensive research to learn exactly what it meant. Other than the help my child’s speech and occupational therapists offered, I felt alone. And the research I did was not only for my benefit, but for that of the teachers as well. I shared with them the books I had read, the information I had learned, and even brought in my son’s speech pathologist and occupational therapist to educate the school administration and his teacher on his needs and ways they could help him succeed in the classroom. The diagnosis was foreign to them. And while he is not autistic and now at 18 years of age has mostly adapted to or outgrown his issues, many on the autism spectrum have his same sensory processing issues and many other obstacles that keep them from being able to fully adapt in a traditional classroom setting. But thanks to the efforts of the Sandpoint Rotary Club and the CHAFE 150, parents and teachers no longer have to experience the frustrations many have had to endure in the past.
The CHAFE 150 bike ride is put on by the Sandpoint Rotary Club and raises money that goes directly to provide for the children in Lake Pend Oreille School District who are on the autism spectrum. The money, which has totaled over $110,000 in the last two years, has gone a long way to helping children not only survive but also thrive.
Statistics show that 1 in 68 children are affected with some type of autism. The CHAFE 150 is a bike ride with distances of 30, 80 and 150 miles. Taking place in Sandpoint on June 18 of this year, it has been named one of the most beautiful rides in the country. And the best part is that all the money raised stays local to help our children.
To volunteer, sponsor or participate in the ride, please visit chafe150.org. Every little bit helps and you will be helping to impact many in our community.