Local Sporting Event to Benefit Those on Autism Spectrum

A unique concept at a local sporting event tonight hopes to raise awareness.

R.P.I.'s on-campus hockey game against Dartmouth is the 5th annual Autism Awareness Game.

Taking place at the Houston Field House, the school says it is the only game of its kind in the country that allows people on the autism spectrum to be able to attend without the usual distractions, such as music or displays on the video board.

R.P.I. Coach Seth Appert says the event keeps getting bigger and bigger.

"Its become a very, very special event, and every year its grown in terms of stature, in terms of awareness, in terms of money raised."

He adds that a more comfortable atmosphere is created for those on the spectrum.

"The bullhorn is taken away, the buzzer is quieted, the pep band does not attend that night, we don't play loud rock music, we take everything away to where it's, at its bare bones, it's just a big time, division-wide college hockey game between two good teams, and the only sounds you hear are the sounds on the ice, and the whistle of the referee."

Coach Appert says his players have recently been visiting schools that help children with special needs and autism.

R.P.I. and Dartmouth face off at 7 PM, and all money raised will go to the Autism Society of the Greater Capital Region.

Photo: Getty Images

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