AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 36 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder. April is “Autism Awareness” month and Brayden’s Gift along with Amarillo ABA are doing their part to bring awareness to autism in the Panhandle.

Brayden’s Gift is a local nonprofit organization that helps alleviate the financial burdens of families who have autistic children. The organization began when founder Shay Morath’s son Brayden was diagnosed with autism.

“We were lost and confused. And we didn’t know what autism was. And I still get that answer. Now I still see people that don’t understand exactly what it is,” said Morath. “And so just bridging the gap and being a roadmap for the families to help navigate them towards something. If they don’t know what to do or how to help their kid, we want to help.”

Morath added that once her son joined ABA therapy at Amarillo ABA, she saw just how effective the therapy was. She said that she wants to let other families know that there is a clinic that can help them.

“There is just not enough awareness out there right now, people, I want them to understand how expensive it is to have a child with autism, and how they can help. And then the support for families that we want to include everybody, we want them to have a place in our society,” said Morath.

Amarillo ABA executive director Amy Simpson said that autism awareness is all about celebrating with families.

“Bringing that component to the Panhandle is important. So, just like any other diagnosis that you see with breast cancer awareness. Do you see any other awareness? It’s important for us to join together as parents, with other practitioners, with families. It’s our day to celebrate those kids and all the achievements they have made,” said Simpson.

Simpson said that a great way for the community to celebrate “Autism Awareness” month is by lighting up their patios blue.

To learn more about Brayden’s Gift and Amarillo ABA visit their websites.

Another local nonprofit, Panhandle ABA Resource Association will be hosting its annual “Blue Man Walk” fundraiser aiming to raise awareness for autism. The event will be on April 15 at John Stiff Memorial Park. The community can sign up to walk in the event or just come to be with others in the community.

You can sign up for the walk here.

For the latest Amarillo news and regional updates, check with and tune in to KAMR Local 4 News at 5:00, 6:00, and 10:00 p.m. and Fox 14 News at 9:00 p.m. CST.