Benefit to back autism care

By Dale Rodebaugh Herald staff writer

A fundraiser to benefit the nonprofit No Harm Foundation, which supports the treatment of a suite of autism spectrum disorders through dietary modification, is scheduled Saturday at the VFW Post 4031 Hall, 1550 Main Ave.

The foundation is the nonprofit arm of the Assertive Wellness Center, opened in 2001 by Shauna Young, a naturopathic practitioner.

The range of developmental disorders that Young treats through a dietary regimen and natural supplements includes autism, ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and asperger’s syndrome.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in 88 children has been identified with one of the autism spectrum disorders. Reports show that ASD is almost five times as common in boys than in girls.

About one in six children in the United States had a developmental disorder of some kind, including autism spectrum disorder, in 2006-08, the CDC reports.

Young’s treatment involves removing chemicals from the diet and substitutes natural food and supplements.

Interest in Young’s approach has brought inquiries and consultations from around the world, said Doug Young, who runs the business end of the enterprise. He is Shauna Young’s brother.

The Saturday fundraiser starts at 1 p.m. when foundation supporters will form a human chain at Rotary Park near the VFW Hall to show solidarity with autistic children. Anyone is welcome to join.

A silent auction, with such items as two round-trip tickets on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, a wheel alignment and saloon-party package, is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Speaking during that time will be Shauna Young and Joshua Jackson from Durango Natural Foods Co-op.

Earlier, 52 collection boxes for donations were placed in businesses around the area, said Heidi Lewis, who is leading the fundraising effort called Helping Hands Across La Plata County.

Entertainment is scheduled from 7 p.m. to midnight. The musical groups of Dave Mensch, Donny Johnson and D.L. Marble will perform.

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