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All children, adults and parents are invited to attend the second annual Spring Hullabaloo at the University of Montana, an event aimed to bring autism awareness to the community.

The event will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the University Center Ballroom. It's free and the public is welcome.

Dancers, mimes and UM mascot Monte will perform. There will be activities that appeal to children of all ages, as well as speech and occupational therapists, and other resources and organizations for parents whose children have autism. Plus, parents are encouraged to share stories and network with other parents who face the same challenges.

"We may not speak, but we want to be heard," is the slogan printed on the back of fliers advertising the event, hosted by the UM Neuro Networking Club. The club is a social group for people with autism and Asperger syndrome and their friends.

"It's an autism event put on by people with autism," said Treva Bittinger, an event organizer.

Also, there will be an art auction to benefit 4-year-old Zane Goicovich, who underwent a successful brain surgery this month to alleviate his epileptic seizures. The boy was diagnosed with autism more than a year ago and his parents attended last year's Hullabaloo. Proceeds from the auction will help pay for his medical bills.

Not just children with autism are invited. Parents with children who do not have autism are also welcome, Bittinger said. It's important for all kids to learn to play well with children who have autism.

Reporter Chelsi Moy can be reached at 523-5260 or at chelsi.moy@missoulian.com.

 

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