‘The Biggest Loser’ contestants to speak at Autism Awareness event

Published 3:10 pm Friday, March 30, 2012

By AMY JONES / Associate Editor

NORTH SHELBY — “The Biggest Loser” contestants Amy and Phil Parham will speak at an Autism Awareness event at the North Shelby Library April 3.

The event, which will begin at 11 a.m., will also feature a book signing and a question and answer session by the Parhams, refreshments and a mini vendor expo.

Event organizer Michelle Givan said the Parhams, who have a son with autism, are well-suited to share a message of hope with other families affected by autism.

“Part of the reason why they were on ‘The Biggest Loser’ is because they had let their health go by the wayside, because they had devoted all their resources and energy to helping their son, who has an autism diagnosis,” Givan said.

After working with LearningRx, the Parhams had a breakthrough.

“They had been told their son would never read, would never be in a regular class. They were given no hope,” Givan said. “After their son trained with LearningRx, he is now in a regular classroom, he’s reading on grade level and he’s just thriving. They have now dedicated their lives to raising awareness of autism.”

The event will kick off at 11 a.m. with a meet and greet. The Parhams will speak and answer questions at 11:30 a.m. At 12:30 p.m., the Parhams will sign copies of their book, refreshments will be served and vendors will have booths available for event attendees to browse.

The event is sponsored by LearningRx Birmingham-South, and is also supported by the Arc of Shelby County, COSEPTA, Compassion International, Autism-Asperger Syndrome Consulting Group, Mitchell’s Place and Juice Plus.