CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Charleston Police Department is showing support for those with autism with a new addition to their uniforms.
April is National Autism Awareness Month. Throughout the month, officers can donate money to wear an Autism Awareness patch on their arms. The money raised will go towards the Lowcountry Autism Foundation.
Officer Edward Celkos said this cause hits close to home for him because he has two family members with autism.
“I did send one of the patches to my little cousin who is autistic, and you know he had a big smile on his face,” said Celkos.
Kelly O’Meara Hampton is the Executive Director of the Lowcountry Autism Foundation. She said it’s important for officers to know the signs and symptoms while responding to calls.
“I think it’s really important for police officers because our clients are more apt to come into contact with police officers and law enforcement. It’s not uncommon for young people and even adults who have autism to struggle with communication,” said O’Meara Hampton.
With donations like those from Charleston Police, the Lowcountry Autism Foundation can provide programs for families throughout South Carolina who are experiencing autism. Some of the programs include swim lessons and music therapy.
Experts said nationally, one in 44 children is affected by autism.
To learn more about the Lowcountry Autism Foundation or to donate, click here.