This Sunday, a ride to raise awareness for children on the autism spectrum will help fund workshops for local school teachers.
Riding for Autism Awareness event organiser Sarah Blythe says talking about autism will open the door for others to understand, by educating and building acceptance for all children and adults living with autism.
Two years ago Ms Blythe and her partner Codie were told their son Neko was on the autism spectrum. The diagnosis helped explain why Neko behaved the way he did.
"Not every disability is visible," Ms Blythe says.
"He was in timeout a lot at school and I did not feel I had the full support of his teachers, and that they understood him.
"He was just seen as being naughty for pushing or hitting as he didn't have the social skills to be able to say how he was feeling."
The family moved to a smaller town where they found a perfect school for their son and he settled in easily.
"His new school follows the Walker Learning Approach and he adjusted so well."
Seeing the difference this made to her son encouraged Ms Blythe to do something to raise awareness.
After seeking advice from a man who organised a similar charity event, she created Riding for Autism Awareness.
"Then I thought what would I do with the money raised?" Ms Blythe says.
"What better way to spend it than to use it to help educate our child educators, as it is not a part of their core teacher training."
The goal is to raise enough funds to donate to Altogether Autism who will hold workshops in the Manawatu, open to all child educators.
"Every teacher deserves the right training, and every autistic child needs a teacher to understand them to help them succeed at school."
Motorcycles and cars are welcome to join the ride leaving from Gary Worsley Motorcycles in Feilding and ending at The Wines in Himatangi.
If you can't make the ride you can still join the family-friendly afternoon from 2pm at The Wines. A speaker from Altogether Autism will be there to speak about autism and there will be a live band, sausage sizzle and face painting.
Registration opens 9am, Sunday, March 4, Gary Worsley Motorcycles, 38 Weld St, Feilding. Registration is $20.
For more information look for Riding For Autism Awareness 2018 on Facebook or call Sarah Blythe on 027 338 0749 or Deb Costello on 027 631 7318. Information on Altogether Austism at altogetherautism.org.nz