Shining the Light on Autism, a group in Hannibal, Missouri, held an event in September to raise money for a new inclusive playground, ConnectTristates.com reports.
The fundraiser was a stair-climbing challenge in a light house. 200 participants signed up to climb between one to five flights (a $20 entry free), or opt to tackle all 15 flights (a $50 entry fee), based on their goals and abilities.
“Our main goal is to educate our communities about autism and bring more awareness, but ultimately, also bring more recreational opportunities to [children with autism] and all special needs children,” Marlene Rodenbaugh, who has a child with autism, told the news source.
The inclusive playground would enable children of all abilities to play with one another on the same structure. “I cannot think of a better place for [children with and without special needs] to interact and learn from each other…it kind of breaks barriers and boundaries and stereotypes of what you would think special needs is,” she told the news provider.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 110 children in the United States have some type of autism spectrum disorder.