Local restaurant holds game night fundraiser for World Autism Awareness Day

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It’s World Autism Awareness Day and The Wheel Barrel in the NOTO district of Topeka filled their biweekly game night with games that are autism friendly.

“Your memory games, your games that are more about building socials skills and helping the kids with things that most people don’t think about,” said Stephanie Rowley.

Rowley’s son Timothy was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. Autism often affects communication and social skills, but Rowley says each person is different.

“Each of them has their own little quirk as you may call it, so each child has their own area of expertise. My son perked on computers at a very young age and we’ve gone from there,” said Rowley.

Rowley and her son Timothy joined others for the game night fundraiser. Ten percent of the proceeds went to the Topeka Area Autism Network and Easterseals Capper Foundation.

Manager Sarah Williams says Rowley, who works at the Wheel Barrel, was a big inspiration for the fundraiser.

“She’s been a big part of our lives here at the Wheel Barrel and we like to make sure our employees are taken care of,” said Williams.

This was the second year for the game night fundraiser. Williams says she hopes pople take this time to do a little research about autism.

“Sometimes people seem to think there’s a bit of a stigma around it and really it’s not anything different than somebody’s color of hair or their eye color,” said Williams.

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