JACKSONVILLE, FL — This Christmas vacation wants to highlight people helping people.
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Action News Princess Jax Jane Stefferson attended a Christmas party with Jacksonville Autism Society founder Demetria Walker. Walker’s mission in life is to ensure that people with autism are treated equally.
Demetria Walker founded The Jacksonville Autistic Society in 2019 for people with autism like her son Sha’michael.
“My son doesn’t have the disease. He just happens to have autism. To me, that just makes him special,” says Walker.
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A special event for Wat is the annual Christmas party that Demetria has hosted for the past two years. Celebrating Jax’s autism community.
“Events like this help people move out of the house with children they don’t judge,” says Walker.
“Growing up, he kept doing things a little later than other kids, but he did it nonetheless. Looking back, I would say it was autism,” Walker said. increase.
JAS’s goal is to enable early diagnosis of people with autism. It also aims to show people that people with autism can do the same things as everyone else, whether they are on the autism spectrum or not.
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“I could have done better if I had known,” says Walker.
Demetria is feeling better. This year, her Christmas party pulled out all the stops.
“We’ve known each other since seventh grade,” says Michael Friend.
Demetria’s childhood friend, Michael Friend, has two teenage children with autism. He has watched JAS grow over the past two years. This year, Michael wanted to make Demetria’s Christmas party even more special with his first-ever Santa’s Little Angel Christmas run.
“I’ve arranged for motorcycles, jeeps, and cars to run, and part of the entry fee was cash or toys to reduce cash and entry fees,” says Michael Friend.
The Santa’s Little Angels Christmas Run has collected over 50 presents for JAS. The Christmas party had games and food, and if it was on a nice list, we got to see Santa. Demetria’s ultimate goal is to have a recreation center for all autistic children in Jax. When she asked a person with autism if she could tell someone looking for advice, she said:
“I love you. I accept you for who you are, so talk to me,” says Walker.
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