Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors. Approximately, one in 88 American children is identified as being on the autism spectrum – a ten-fold increase in prevalence over the past 40 years.
The Second Annual Tyler Run for Autism is scheduled for Saturday, April 13 beginning at 7:00 a.m. The event will be held at Bergfeld Park and includes both a 5K run and half-marathon, a family fun run/walk, children’s activities, and live music. The Run for Autism is sponsored by Defeating Autism Through Applied Behavioral Analysis (DATA), a local, non-profit organization. DATA president, Misty S. Wooldridge, is serving as co-chair for this event alongside Allison Bass Woodard. Proceeds raised from the event will give area children the opportunity to attend the Treatment and Learning Center for Children with Autism. DATA is dedicated to improving the quality of life for children and their families affected by autism.
In addition to her commitment to DATA, Mrs. Wooldridge also serves on the board of directors for the Autism Advisory Council for the Andrews Center and serves as a treasurer for the Chandler Elementary School Parent Teacher Association.
“I am very passionate about helping children diagnosed on the autism spectrum, and being involved in an organization that helps children succeed is very rewarding,” Mrs. Wooldridge said. “I believe volunteerism comes from the heart, and when you pour your efforts into something you are passionate about all parties benefit.”
Mrs. Wooldridge is a Tyler native who now resides in Chandler, Texas. She is a graduate of Robert E. Lee High School and earned her bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at Tyler. Mrs. Wooldridge and her husband, Jeff, have been married for ten years and are the parents of William, 6, and Matthew, 4. She is employed as an independent insurance agent for Wynne Insurance Services. The Wooldridge family attends Rock Hill Baptist Church in Brownsboro, Texas.
“I feel very blessed to live in such a faith-based community that’s committed to helping those in need,” Mrs. Wooldridge said.
For more information on The Second Annual Tyler Run for Autism, please visit www.tylerrunforautism.org