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Mountain residentís design selected autism walk posted on 06/02/2017

When participants of the Autism Society of Oregon’s annual walk hit the pavement on Sunday, April 30 at Oaks Park in Portland, they were clad in a t-shirt to commemorate the event; one that was designed by Brightwood resident Haley Montana.

Montana’s designs have graced the event t-shirt twice now, part of a contest held each year for the event. This year was the first year that Montana, who raised her autistic grandson, attended the walk.

“It was pretty amazing, they do a great job,” she said, adding that they had a number of different spaces to provide what different kids need. “They covered it all.”

Montana, who has lived on the mountain for two years, noted it was fun to see her design being worn by thousands of people, adding that she’d like to see some designs by younger people get selected.

For her design, she started by making an anagram from the phrase, “autism spectrum,” turning it into “capture’s summit,” and then making the ‘a’ into a mountain.

The design was selected from a number of submissions by a vote of all the volunteers involved with the event.

“The design really spoke to many of volunteers for its beautiful imagery as well as the notion that autism is a mountain for many people to climb: difficult but not insurmountable,” wrote Tobi Rates, Executive Director for the Autism Society of Oregon in an email to the Mountain Times.

Montana noted that her grandson, Vince, is now 22 and living on his own for nearly two years in a group setting where his medication can be monitored and he is ensured a hot meal each day.

She and her partner had to split their days while raising him to make sure that one was always around for him, including staying at school while he was there.

“It’s like God prepares you for this special kid,” Montana said. “He’s been a blessing to us, more than anything.”

“I love that he thinks way beyond the outside of the box,” she added. “I can embrace that, that he can think differently about things.”

By Garth Guibord/MT

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