(Jackson, Wyo.) - Just a few weeks after Michelle Beitinger and her family moved from Washington State to Teton Valley, her young son was diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder or ASD. With little knowledge of the area, Michelle assumed that their son would be able to get the care he needed and that insurance would pay for it. A doctor recommended that her son have a special therapy called Applied Behavioral Analysis. Beitinger soon learned that this expensive therapy isn't covered by insurance in Wyoming or Idaho. "Neither state covers a lot of therapies," she said. "We saw a huge gap, not just for our family, but any family in that position." Beitinger's struggle was the motivation behind the non-profit she founded called One Voice for Autism Awareness. The 501(c)3 organization was established in January 2016 and raises money to pay for therapy, therapeutic equipment and progressive intervention for kids with ASD. According to Beitinger, 1 in 68 kids is on the autism spectrum, so there is a growing need for assistance in both Jackson Hole and Teton Valley. As one of the first big fundraising efforts for the organization, they have joined the Community Foundation of Teton Valley Tin Cup Challenge. Similar to Old Bill's Fun Run in Jackson, non-profits raise money for a period of time, which is then matched by the "challengers." From May 20 - July 22, all funds raised by One Voice for Autism Awareness will be matched by about 50 percent. The non-profit serves both Jackson Hole and Teton Valley, although the money raised through Tin Cup Challenge will solely help people in Teton Valley. This Saturday, July 16, there is a Community Celebration for the Tin Cup Challenge to include a 5k/10k run, non-profit booths and entertainment on the Plaza at Driggs City Center. More information on the Tin Cup Challenge is available here.
*Feature Photo: One Voice for Autism Awareness booth. h/t One Voice for
Autism Awareness / Pitchengine Communities*