MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - Chances are you are affected by autism in some way, whether it is you, your child, or you know someone who with autism. It can be a difficult disorder, both for the child and family. One Middle Georgia mother's experience with autism inspired her to help other families by teaching Zumba.
Zumba is Traci William's passion. She says it is a way to escape what can be a frustrating life.
"I have so many moments when i feel like I just can't cope, but I love my son, he is my son," Williams said.
Williams and her son Ryan started their autism journey two years ago. He was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome when he was 10 years old.
"Once he got into 5th grade, one of his teachers said for me to get him tested for autism or Asperger's," Williams said.
Now with an answer to her son's behavioral problems, Ryan was on back on the right track. Still, Williams felt alone.
"Probably about a year went by that I always felt like I was in a black hole, all by myself, trying to figure this thing out," she said. "It wasn't until after that year that I came upon Central Georgia Autism."
Central Georgia Autism is a support system that helps families connect and meet other people living with the disorder.
"It gets hard a lot of the times, but one of the main things is don't feel like you're a bad parent," Williams said.
Williams is now giving back to the community who gave her so much when she needed it the most through her Zumba for Autism fundraiser.
"Sometimes you need to reach out to other people to get assistance and to help you cope with different things," she said.
Through her fundraiser, Williams hopes to raise autism awareness and provide a temporary break from the reality these families face.
"Just loose themselves and reset from everything that's going on," Williams said.
The Zumba for Autism fundraiser is Saturday, November 2 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Wesley Glenn Ministries in Macon. There is a $10 donation. The money raised will go to Central Georgia Autism. The organization donates thousands of dollars in scholarships to help families pay for treatment and other necessities.
For more information, visit www.centralgaautism.org.