Crowds of people dressed in blue gathered around the Logan Tabernacle, holding blue balloons and signs with phrases on them including, “Autism is Awesome,” “Autism is Beautiful,” and “Different Not Less.”
This annual Autism walk is part of worldwide Autism celebrations held each year on April 2.
Jennie Ostermiller works at Options for Independence in Logan and has organized the walk for the past five years.
“It’s really exciting to see the younger kids who get together here and see that there’s other kids like them, parents of younger kids who get together and see that there’s other kids like their kid, and that it’s okay,” Jennie said.
Cater Ostermiller is Jennie’s son.
“I am on the spectrum myself,” Carter said. “It is very important to me to make sure that people in my community see that people all over are affected by this and that it’s a normal part of humanity and that it’s nothing to be weirded out by, it’s just another facet of humanity.”
Carter said social interactions were less intuitive for him growing up than they many have been for others. He described learning how to interact with people as science he experimented with.
“Events like this certainly help like having people in your community show that they’re accepting or that they’re willing to come your way a little bit and you don’t have to make the whole effort forward,” Carter said.
Jennie said there are so many more resources for parents of children with Autism now than when Carter was born. She said the walk is one way parents and other community members can learn more about those.