Autism Awareness & Sheltering Tree Ranch’s 3rd Annual 5K Challenge

sheltering-tree-5kBy Alesha Dodd

In my article last month, I talked about a school for autistic kids called the “Sheltering Tree Ranch.” I’ve been volunteering there for about four months now. They do tons of stuff with the kids – like once a month they take the children to the Savannah Library, and one of the teachers dressed up the first month as a princess, and the second was The Cat in the Hat for celebrating Dr. Seuss’s birthday, and they colored and did projects – it was really great for the kids. In this last week Papa John’s Pizza picked up the children in a limousine and took them to the Papa John’s Pizza place and had the kids make their own pizzas – it was such a blessing for the kids, they really loved it.

Autism Awareness: Educate. Advocate. Support.

Most people know that the month of April was Autism Awareness Month, but maybe some people don’t know what it’s all about. So I decided that I am going to write a little about it.

Nearly a quarter century ago, The Autism Society launched a nationwide effort to promote autism awareness. In 1943 “Autism’s First Child” was a profile of Donald Triplett, a 77-year-old Mississippian whose diagnosis of autism was the first to appear in the medical literature. Today the rating of autism is 1 out of 88 people. Autism is a serious developmental disorder that impairs the ability to communicate and interact. There are more than 200,000 cases a year of autism. It is a mental disorder that cannot be cured; in most cases it is life-long and requires a medical diagnosis. Lab tests or imaging are rarely required.

People say that it is bad to be autistic but is it? They are just like everyone else, they look the same, but they just have a different mindset. Has anyone ever wondered what they think of us? Maybe they believe that people with no disorder are the different ones. Maybe autistic kids are smarter than average people and they just don’t know how to use their talents. Or maybe some of them do but no one sees it. There really is no way to know. Even studies today don’t really know what is going on inside of an autistic person’s brain.

Sheltering Tree Ranch’s 3rd Annual 5K Walk/Run Off Road Challenge  

April 16, 2016 was this year’s 5K run at Sheltering Tree Ranch, to raise money to help keep this amazing school for autistic kids running. It’s a great blessing for the children and also for the people who get to work or volunteer there, because they get to work with these amazing kids. I want to say thank you to the sponsors that make it possible for us to do the 5K run. Here are the sponsors:

Long & Co.
Savannah Bowling Center
Papa John’s Pizza
Perfect Perfect Looks Salon
ACE Hardware
Small Town Style
Shackelford Funeral Directors
Clayton Homes
Paul Seaton Sales & Service
First Farmers Co-op
Lay Bookkeeping & Tax Needs
Koenig’s Towing & Recovery
A&D Storage, LLC
Welch Insurance Agency
Pickwick Yacht Brokers
River City Concrete
State Farm Insurance
Barnes Marine
Pickwick Saw Shop
Ronald Franks Construction
Williams Lumber Co.
The Hardin County Bank
Packaging Corporation of America
Central Bank
JEFCOAT Fencing & Supply

If you have any questions about the Sheltering Tree Ranch, please go to

Or Call Us Today! 731-925-2922

Thank you!

~ Alesha Dodd


Alesha Dodd, 14, has been homeschooled her whole life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.