ROCK ISLAND, Illinois (KWQC) - Royal Ball Run for Autism held their second “Royal Guide Autism Resource Fair” at Jumer's Casino in Rock Island this morning.
“One of the most important things we want them to feel is comfort and not feeling alone. We've got their back,” said Royal Guide Resource Director, Steve Inman.
The autism resource fair can get people who don't know where to start with autism pointed in the right direction.
“One of the things that we noticed was there are a lot of families that don't know where to start,” added Inman. “We just want them to have the option to come to one central location and get all of the resources that they didn't know were available to them.”
Members of the organization say it feels great to reach so many families.
“It's kind of sad that we have so many families that don't know what's available, but it's also rewarding knowing they're coming here to find all those resources,” said Inman.
For the president of the group - helping other families going through the struggle hits home.
“My daughter was diagnosed with autism, and I know what that feels like to hear that your child is diagnosed on the spectrum and then to not know where to turn,” said RBR President, Jen Hartmann. “As a parent this is really fulfilling for me to know that parents have a resource they can turn to.”
What started as a way to get people the resources they need, turned into a sense of community and connection.
“We started it to raise awareness in the community about our kids and the potential they have,” said Hartmann. “But what happened was that we really found that parents needed that sense of community and other parents to connect to so that they could feel part of that bigger effort for awareness and acceptance.”
The RBR organization officially launched their royal guide today as well. The royal guide is on their website - it connects families around the quad cities to autism resources in the area, other families going through similar situations, and it even gives recommendations for services like barbers and dentists that are great with kids on the spectrum.