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MT participates in Autism Awareness Day Saturday

Coaching staff wears pins for autism awareness

January 31, 2014 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee men's basketball team and head coach Kermit Davis will participate in the College Basketball National Autism Awareness Day Saturday, Feb. 1 with tip-off set for 5 p.m. against Old Dominion.

Fellow Conference USA Coach Tom Herrion, who coaches at Marshall, and Towson head coach Pat Skerry teamed up with Autism Speaks, asking coaching staffs across the country to participate in College Basketball Autism Awareness Day. Both Herrion and Skerry have sons that were born with the disorder. Herrion's son Robert is eight year's old and Skerry's son Owen will be five soon.

Both Coaches had asked 82 colleagues to participate in the Autism Awareness Day and nearly 100-percent agreed. The Blue Raider coaching staff along with the Old Dominion coaches will all wear a blue puzzle-piece pin, the logo for the Autism Speaks charity, for the contest Saturday.

"Two of our good friends in coaching, Tommy Herrion at Marshall and Pat Skerry at Towson, have young sons that have been born with autism so this Saturday is going to be a coaches awareness for autism," Davis said. "We're really trying to let people know that one out of every 54 boys now are born with autism and early childhood detection is so important so we're going to wear these pins on our lapels. Jeff Jones of Old Dominion and myself along with a lot of other coaches around college basketball are doing this to try to create better awareness on Saturday."

What is Autism?
According to AutismSpeaks.org, Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors.

Facts about Autism (AutismSpeaks.org):
• Autism now affects 1 in 88 children and 1 in 54 boys
• Autism prevalence figures are growing
• Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.
• Autism costs a family $60,000 a year on average
• Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases
• Boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to have autism
• There is no medical detection or cure for autism

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