Professional Archeologist, Tom Penders, created Archaeologists for Autism, an annual day-long event for children, teenagers, and young adults with autism to experience archeology in Brevard County, FL. During the event, families can learn about fossil and pottery making, excavate for artifacts and fossils, skeleton mapping, and explore an archeological site.

Archaeologists for Autism is held at the Historic Sams House at the Pine Island Conservation Area, an archaeological and paleontological site, according to the North Brevard Business Directory.

Penders has a 19-year-old daughter with autism and found it challenging to find activities she could participate in. “I started thinking that all children love dinosaurs and archaeology, and some parents have told me their autistic children love history as well. As a result, I came up with the concept of Archaeologists for Autism (AFA),” Penders wrote on the Archaeologists for Autism website.

This year the 5th Annual Archaeologists for Autism event will be held on October 20th from 9:00am to 3:00pm. The event is free of charge and open to families with children ages 5-17 and young adults ages 18-22 with autism or one of the other disabilities listed on the Archaeologists for Autism website. All participants must be enrolled in school.

Penders says the event is a great way to discover young archaeologists,”you’d be surprised. There’s a number of those on the spectrum who work in the field of archaeology,” he told Click Orlando.

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