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Hershey Story hosts Autism Awareness Program and All Things Diversity

Gina Roscoe, Reporter

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Dr. Nancy Patrick and Nathaniel Reed Geyer speak about their experiences within the autism community during a program held by the Hershey Story on May 8, 2019. The program was sponsored by the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and College of Medicine and The Hershey Company and Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company. (Gina Roscoe/Broadcaster)

The Hershey Story hosted an Autism Inclusion Program on the evening of May 8, 2019.

The event featured a panel of speakers including: Professor of special education at Messiah College, Dr. Nancy Patrick, and Nathaniel Reed Geyer, who has continually struggled from autism.

The people attending this event not only got to learn about raising awareness and including these types of people into our community but also learned about three specific peoples’ journeys. There are all different ways to contribute to the autism society and three totally different people shared how they have made an impact on this group of people.

Autism is a developmental disorder that ranges in severity. Some difficulties can include: social interaction, communication, and restrictive thoughts or behavior. This disorder usually presents itself at birth.

On top of having autism, Nathaniel Reed Geyer, holds a Doctor of Public Health, a masters in epidemiology, and a bachelors in biology. He has ten years of experience in the public health researching fields of cancer, HIV, epilepsy, obesity, and vitamin D ancestry.

Nathaniel Geyer had many things for the audience to take away. One thing he said that stuck with crowd was that “it’s okay to fail.” Nathaniel Geyer constantly retries things. He knows people may get frustrated with him due to his autism disorder and it takes longer to achieve goals, but he knows he’s doing what he needs to succeed in life.

Doctor Nancy Patrick, who is a professor of special education, graduated from Messiah college in Mechanicsburg, PA, where she now has responsibility for creating the graduate programs for this area of specialty. Dr. Patrick has taught in the Central Dauphin School District and was a school psychologist. She is also an author for three books on managing a lifestyle for autism.

During her part of the session her big message was that “it’s time to act now.”

The Autism Awareness Program and All Things Diversity by the Hershey Story is underwritten by the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and College of Medicine and The Hershey Company and Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company.

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Hershey Story hosts Autism Awareness Program and All Things Diversity